Court Circular 10 November 2010 BUCKINGHAM PALACE: The Queen, Patron, and The Duke of Edinburgh this morning gave a Reception for members of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association at Buckingham Palace.
For most conspicuous acts of gallantry in action in a circumstance of great peril in Afghanistan as part of the Special Operations Task Group during Operation SLIPPER, Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Trooper Mark Gregor Donaldson enlisted into the Australian Army on 18 June 2002. After completing Recruit and Initial and Employment Training he was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. Having successfully completed the Special Air Service Selection Course in April 2004, Trooper Donaldson was posted to Special Air Service Regiment in May 2004.
Bill Henry "Willie" Apiata VC (born 28 June 1972 in Mangakino, New Zealand) is a Corporal in the New Zealand Special Air Service and the first recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand. He received the award on 2 July 2007 for bravery under fire during the Afghanistan conflict in 2004
They are mate, it's due to the fact that they are VC holders that they have been allowed to appear in public: I believe it was intimated Mark Donaldson has to travel seperately from the rest of his troop due to his being a public face.