We received this email from Paul Bunting this afternoon and wanted to share the sentiments with all our supporters..
Hi, I’m the guy who organised free security fencing and toilets for your compound at Haworth 1940’s Weekend just passed – along with my great colleague Lauren Eilbeck, both of www.supply-it.co.uk
Look out for a great photo which I like to describe as. “How many army veterans does it take to crack open a gate!”
My story with you guys is my mother passed away end of last September and my father who was in the armed forces for 25 years until he retired in 1985 invited me and my family down from Cumbria to be with him for Remembrance Sunday in Doncaster. This was the first time I had seen my father since the funeral as it was still very raw within the family, my father had lost his soulmate.
We watched the emotional parade with tears in our eyes for obvious reasons. The parade ended, we decide to go for a pint as a close family would.
My father ended up talking to a lady and came to me and said he has been invited to join other veterans for Sunday lunch at the Earl of Doncaster Hotel.
My dad was undecided as he would be split from us.
The lady heard of the recent upset of my late mother and worked some magic to “squeeze” us all in to the afternoon dinner. (We paid BTW!) 😉
I have never been in that hotel even though I had lived in Doncaster for over 20 years!
My family and I were gobsmacked! We felt like royalty, my dad had his head held high, his medals gleaming under the lights, kitty blasting out tunes from the past!
What an amazing afternoon, everyone made us feel welcome, my father looked so proud to be part of the ex army family.
Ben Parkinson was sat behind us and I felt so nervous as I wanted to meet him.
I’m there enjoying dinner surrounded by so many heroes, he grew up in my home town, I grew up thinking drink n drugs and dossing on the streets were the only way of life, certainly not fighting for Queen and Country! The closest I came to medals and a Uniform was getting my ‘Collectors’ badge in Cubs but that was only because I stole most of my Collections or erasers from other kids in the class.
We all grow up and look back at what we have achieved through life and whether its the Streets of Doncaster or the war torn streets of war, we all end up with memories and cross paths with a Hero and or Villain, admitting on a grander scale for soldiers….but we all taste something. My hero is my Father.
The warmth my family got from a charity and bunch of guys we have never met really warmed to me and my family and gave us the strength to continue the fight of grieving over the loss of my mum.
My return of thanks was to get the business I manage to dig deep and do our bit to help your Charity save a few pennies on hiring your own toilets and fencing and keep that money for helping others from the Armed Forces.
I totally understand that the closet my Dad got injured in the army was a snapped ankle from his first and only Parachute jump and maybe doesn’t warrant that kind hearted help from your Charity but for the sake of a reassuring smile and handshake from fellow veterans was priceless for my Dad.
I have attached a picture of my Dad, Wife and Son and Daughter. All feeling very proud.
BTW, I hope you have worked out which lady had the heart of Gold to Invite us. Well done and thanks Roberta, Ben, Vic and the rest of the team, All the best!
Thank you Paul, inspirational story and we wish you and your family all the very best.