Brett Kriewaldt volunteered for 2 tours of duty in Vietnam during his 14 years' service in the Australian army.
He's so well known in Australian returned services organisations that there's a building named after him.
But now he feels like he doesn't belong in a country that he's called home for 50 years, since he was told he was unable to get a passport.More stories from Today Tonight
"The lady told me that I'm not an Australian citizen ... I fought for my country and I'm not allowed to be a citizen."
Brett's bureaucratic battle began when he tried to renew his passport.
"I was born in Port Moresby and the lady who was doing the passport application said everybody born before 1975 independence is deemed now not to be an Australian citizen," he told Today Tonight.
Brett receives a pension from the Australian government for being totally and permanently incapacitated because of his military service, yet he was still questioned about having a certificate of Australian citizenship.
"Why would i need that? The only country that I've sworn allegience to is Australia", he says.
Brett's wife, Catherine, is also seething over the mounting red tape.
"My husband is an Australian, and he's been put through this for what? No reason. No reason at all."
Brian Evans, from the Veterans' Support and Advocacy Service says Brett should never have had to go through this.
"The immigration department needs to get its act together."
A spokesperson for the Immigration Department says having an old passport and serving in the Australian army won't get you special treatment.
But that's exactly what Brett received once Today Tonight became involved in his case.
Within 24 hours of contacting the department, he received the news he'd been waiting months for – he now finally has proof that he’s an Aussie.
But the proud war veteran believes should never have been in doubt.
"On my birth certificate it says I'm Australian - so when does that change? They need to treat everyone well and I don't think they are treating people well."
With the battle won, Brett and Catherine are planning their first overseas holiday in 15 years.