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SSAFA - the old and bold

#1
As those of you who've read my blogs will know I've recently retired. Having a decent pension, I opted not to take another full-time job but to enter the world of voluntary work helping serving and ex-forces people.

The process wasn't easy but eventually I found my way to SSAFA. (Details too boring to include, but believe me it wasn't straightforward). After posting my application I eventually turned up for an initial chat - with coffee, I might add - at my local office.

As well as the branch coordinator, present that day was another volunteer who was an ex-Para. He'd taken part in the Normandy landings, having joined up in 1943.

This man was in his 80s. He was sprightly, very obviously intelligent and articulate, and I found it difficult to function in his presence. He'd been through and seen so much that I never will that I felt completely inadequate.

I felt humbled by him, yet to others (and to be fair, to myself until today) he'd be just another little old bloke.

It was a reminder to me that the debt we owe to these people still exists. So remember good people, if you see a little old chap shuffling along then just think; he might just have been someone at some time.

(Or he might just be a dole bludger walting, but there you are.)
 
#3
If you really want to be both humbled and revitalised by what has been accomplished by the common man in an uncommon manner then speak to a few Chelsea Pensioners.

Then once you've had a chat offer them a beer and be amazed at their vigour and youthful attitude, not bad considering the average age is mid 80's. (Don't try to out drink them though!)
 
#4
Welcome to the fold Lucky_Jim. I am one of those little old men who shuffle along as a volunteer worker for SSAFA, and I sincerely hope you find the as much satisfaction as I do out of working with that fine organisation, andwith such great people, and in that category I include both the people who work for SSAFA and those we are able to assist.
 
#5
I've just got back from my stint at the local SSAFA office. During the course of this morning's events I got a chance to ask **** what it was like to take part in the Normandy landings. He said, and I quote;

'It were noisy.


And you couldn't get a deckchair for love nor money.'



(He did go on to give a more detailed account, but I was laughing too hard to take all of it in.)
 

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