Just before take-off, a line of British Army youngsters came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.
After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that lunches were available for five pounds. It would be several hours before we reached Cyprus and I decided a lunch would help me pass the time.
As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his mate if he planned to buy lunch.
‘No, that seems like a lot of money for just an airline lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five Quid. I’ll wait till we get to Cyprus . His mate agreed.
I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty Pound note.
She grabbed my arms & squeezed it tightly. Her eyes were moist with tears when she said ‘My young bloke was a soldier in Iraq , it’s almost like you are doing it for him.’
Picking up ten lunch boxes, she headed up the aisle to where the boys were seated.
‘Chicken,’ I replied, wondering why she asked.. She turned and went to the front of the plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from First Class. This is your thanks.
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. An old bloke stopped me. ‘I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.’ He handed me twenty-five Pounds..
I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A kid who looked about 18 was sitting about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five Pounds In my palm.
When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to depart. Waiting just inside the aeroplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five Pounds!
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their Trip to their training area.. I walked over to them and handed them the seventy-five Pounds.
sandwich. God Bless You Blokes.’
Ten young blokes left that flight, feeling the love and respect of their fellow Brits.
As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.
These soldiers were giving their all for our country.
I could only give them a meal. It seemed so little…
A Serviceman is one, who, at some point in his life, writes a blank cheque payable to ‘ His Motherland ‘
for an amount ‘up to and including his life.’
That is an Honour, and there are such ways too.