By Zhang Xin, Yu Linsheng and Yuan Huayi
Totally about 500 personnel, including 300 airborne members under the PLA Air Force and more than 200 militias, were busy building sub-dikes and setting up cofferdams for irrigation in an orderly manner on both sides of Hongshi Fishing Ground in Honghu, Hubei Province on July 14, 2020.
At this time, a wooden boat passed through waterweed and duckweed, driving directly towards them, with two men sitting on board. The man at the helm was dark-skinned, thin, looks over 60, and next to him was a middle-aged man in his 30s.
"We have bought you some water and mixed congee." As soon as the boat docked, the two began to unload the water and food which had filled the boat onto the river bank.
Guo Weiwei, the Site commander in chief, talked with them, trying to figure out what was happening.
During the conversation, he learned that this is a father and son from Hansha Village in Honghu City. The father was 65 years old, who joined the army in 1976 and was then a sapper in Beijing. After demobilization, he has been farming at home. In recent years, he began to run a fishing pond under contract.
Recently, due to the continuous heavy rains and floods, his fishing pond has suffered devastating losses. It was, however, the military and the militias who rushed to the local area, helped out and retrieved certain losses for them. To express their gratitude and respect, they went to a supermarket in the village at noon that day, bought all the 15 boxes of mineral water and 14 boxes of mixed congee therein, and sent them to the disaster relief troops.
After sending the gifts, the older man looked satisfied. It is learned that because of the epidemic during the first half of the year, the income of his household has dropped sharply, and the money to buy these gifts was part of his own living expenses.
"I do this definitely not to make a show, but to contribute my share of strength as a veteran." The aging veteran said that there had always been the PLA soldiers and militias at the time of crisis. "I used to be a soldier, and now I want to contribute my strength to fighting against floods," added he.
When asked for his name, the older man refused to tell by waving his hands, and urged his son to immediately drive away after unloading the food. Looking after them going far away, the troops saluted as a way of farewell.