This is a story that I got emailed a few days ago, and immediately knew I had to post in on here. There are a lot of things and stories that sometimes make you ashamed to be British. The stories of gangs and yobs the youth of Britain etc can sometimes take away from the good that exists. One thing that we should always be proud of is our military and the people who risk their lives and fight for our freedom. This story makes me feel proud to be British and I hope it does you too.
Barry Whiteley, British and proud of it!
I put my carry-on in the luggage
compartment and sat down in my
It was going to be a long flight from Gatwick.
‘I’m glad I have a good book to read
Perhaps I will get a short sleep,’ I thought.
Just before take-off, a line of British Army Youngsters
came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats,
totally surrounding me.
I decided to start a conversation.
‘Where are you blokes headed?’ I asked the
Young man seated nearest to me.
Cyprus . We’ll be there for two weeks
for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan .
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 quickly decided a lunch would
help 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.
‘Take a lunch to all those soldiers..’
She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.
Her eyes wet with tears,
she thanked me.
‘My young bloke was a soldier in Iraq ,
it’s almost like you are doing it for him..’
Picking up ten lunchboxes,
she headed up the aisle to where the
boys were seated.
She stopped at my seat and asked,
‘Which do you
like best – beef or chicken?’
‘Chicken,’ I replied, wondering
why she asked..
She turned and went to the front of 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
Soon after I returned to my seat,
I saw the Captain coming
down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he wasn’t looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers
only on my side of the plane.
When he got to my row he stopped, smiled,
held out his hand, and said,
‘I want to shake your hand.’
Quickly unfastening my seat-belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand.
With a booming voice he said, ‘I was an army pilot a long time back.
Once someone bought me lunch.
It was an act of kindness I never forgot.’
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 up to their training area..
I walked over to them and handed
them seventy-five Pounds.
‘It will take you some time to
reach your training area. It will be
about time for a 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 couple of meals.
It seemed so little…
A British Serviceman is someone who,
at one point in his life, wrote a blank
cheque made payable to
‘ United Kingdom ‘
for an amount of
‘up to and including my life.’
“Lest We Forget”