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Howard's war hero pleads 'get me out of here'

Howard war hero Ken Crockford has seen the deadly life of war, but it is his latest battle in Germany that has the veteran pleading to
Howard war hero Ken Crockford has seen the deadly life of war, but it is his latest battle in Germany that has the veteran pleading to "get me out of here". Robyne Cuerel

HOWARD'S war hero Ken Crockford has seen the deadly life of war, but it is his latest battle in Germany that has the veteran pleading to "get me out of here".

The 92-year-old who selflessly saved his men from waves of enemy attacks in the Korean War is stuck in a German nursing home, unable to communicate.

Lance Cpl Crockford spent about five weeks in a German hospital after suffering a lung infection and then surviving a heart attack while sailing the Rhine River six weeks ago.

After being released from hospital, Lance Cpl Crockford is spending his days in a nursing home while his family gathers enough money for a plane ticket home.

The family has spent more than $35,000 on Lance Cpl Crockford's medical costs so far as well as food and accommodation for his wife Lesley, who travelled with him.

RELATEDHelp needed to get ill veteran home

But with oxygen needing to travel with Lance Cpl Crockford, a business class ticket home for the war veteran and a nurse is expected to cost about $5700 each - money the family doesn't have.

Lance Cpl Crockford's son Wayne has been helping pay the medical costs and wanted to bring his father home, where he belongs.

"It's just traumatic - he's a very social person and he loves to talk - but he doesn't speak German," he said.

"He said, 'son, please get me out of here'. We haven't been able to do that. It's been a nightmare, I just want to get him home."

Due to his age and health concerns, the veteran was not covered by travel insurance.

The family has already been supported by the Queensland RSL, who donated $15,000 to help cover accommodation and medical expenses.

Along with donating $1000, the Burrum District RSL will sell raffle tickets at the Grand Hotel in Howard this Friday to raise money for Ken.

A Qantas spokesman said the national carrier was not able to help Lance Cpl Crockford.

"We receive a huge number of requests from worthy organisations and causes across Australia," he said.

"As much as we'd love to support them all, we only have the capacity to work with a small selection."

Topics:  howard war hero


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