Over the last few weeks there seems to have been poppies sprouting all over Twitter. I’m regularly asked to “add a Twibbon to my avatar”. Whilst it’s admirable that people want to show their support on the run up to Remembrance Day does their support go any further? Maybe they’ve put a few quid in a collection box… maybe they haven’t.
About 3 years ago now we decided, as a business, to make a year-long acknowledgement to the sacrifices made by our current servicing Forces by discounting all stays booked by serving Forces personnel or their close family.
I have been humbled on many occasion to receive emails and phone calls from people actually in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as from the Falkland Islands and from ships on the far side of the World. I had a soldier making arrangements to stay with us to propose to his girlfriend, who said that he’d contact me with his card details the next week when he returned from his next patrol. That was a long week – hoping that he was safe.
I’ve had somebody worrying that they’d lose their stay because their leave had been postponed. We rearranged their stay, at no extra cost, when they finally did get home.
I’ve had both girl friends and wives book stays for when their partners came home, so that they could have time alone together, to re-kindle their relationships away from the constant demands of family and friends. We’ve had families stay where young children don’t really remember Daddy and Daddy needs time to enjoy having their children all to themselves.
We don’t make a big fuss about the discount that we offer or the things that we do to make these stays extra special but word does get round.
Whilst “Poppy Day” is to remember all those who’ve served and sacrificed in current and past conflicts, we are making an effort to acknowledge the sacrifices made by those who are serving now and hopefully giving them great memories to take back to wherever it is that they have to go next.
What could you or your business do to make a difference to these people’s lives now, other than just putting a Twibbon on your avatar?
So another year has gone by and we’ve had lots of serving forces personnel stay again this year. We’ve had proposals, long-awaited time alone together and family holidays.
Within the next couple of months we’ve got somebody coming to stay who’s currently servicing Tornado aircraft out in the Afghan desert and somebody else who’s ordered the full romantic gesture set for when he brings his girlfriend to propose to her on his next leave!
These people are still giving their lives for us and we’re still trying to give them a slice of normality (and memories to take away) when they come to stay with us.
What are you doing?