|Veterans Helping Veterans & Others
Newsletter - Keeping You Informed!
|Mike Gifford - Director & Founder
"Living With A Cause"
Vice Commander - V.H.V.O.
I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my
assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good
book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought. Just before
take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the
vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a
'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
'Petawawa. 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 sack
lunches were available for five dollars... It would be several hours
before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help
pass the time...
As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he
planned to buy lunch.
'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably
wouldn't be worth five bucks.
I'll wait till we get to base.'
His friend 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
dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms
and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My
son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'
Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers
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.
A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it... Here,
take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.
Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming
down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he
was not 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 seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand.
With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military
pilot. Once, someone bought me a 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
man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his
hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my
When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane...
Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put
something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without
saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip
to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five
dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about
time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their
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 veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank
check made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount
of 'up to and including my life.'
That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who
no longer understand it.'
|Always remember you are the best , just believe it
Executive Vice Presiden
What a way to end all of the accomplishments for Veterans Helping Veterans & Others in
2012. The group of volunteers has nothing to hang their heads about and it is a pleasure
at Living With A Cause to be part of the organization that helps so many veterans and
Acting as the master of ceremonies, standing in for Founder John Foster who was ill,
was enjoyable and fun fulfilling the program that he laid out. Seeing State Representative
Doctor Colonel Terry Johnson (RET) hand out and salute all of the former military
members was so satisfying and touching. Some veterans saluted were on oxygen, or
gingerly getting to the platform, or not making it due to being remembered by a family
member as they are in a nursing facility or deceased was quite touching.
One of the most touching scenes is to see a widow come and receive the medal for their
deceased husband. As far back as WWII medals were given to family members. In a few
cases young children came and received medals for their grandfathers and the touching
scene was to see Colonel Johnson salute these kids as they received a medal of
memory will give them a memory they will never forget.
The food donated was outstanding and everyone was fed steak and Chicken with out of
the world dessert. Thanks Gary and Mike and volunteers you are wonderful people.
Music was outstanding as the West Music team sang and it was in tune with the
Christmas spirit as we listened to talented young people. And last but not least was Elvis
singing some tunes that put us in the spirit of Christmas and remembering tunes of Elvis.
All words cannot express my feeling I ended the evening with some 300 guest. Thanks to
all as the toys, dinner, and food baskets we hope helped families to have a Merry
Christmas and better New Year. Let us never leave Christ out of Christmas!!!!!