SSAFA - the old and bold

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.)
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!)
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.
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.)

Latest Threads