OPINION: Salute for Captain Tom

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Captain Tom Moore raised more than 29 million pounds for the NHS by walking laps of his garden.
Camera IconCaptain Tom Moore raised more than 29 million pounds for the NHS by walking laps of his garden. Credit: Cpl Robert Weidemane/AP

Tom Moore is going to be knighted.

Who is Tom Moore?

Well, he is actually known as Captain Tom.

He is a former British Army officer, who served in WWII with distinction but that is not his only claim to fame.

Most recently, Captain Tom set out to raise funds for the British National Health Service.

His goal was to raise £1000 by his 100th birthday.

Well, many of us know that Captain Tom achieved much more than this.

According to various news sources, on the day he turned 100 the total amount raised was in excess of an incredible £30 million (nearly $56 million).

You could say that Captain Tom’s quest, with help from the media, went somewhat viral with the whole world getting behind him.

Captain Tom, in fact, took on the mantle of a COVID-19 reluctant hero.

In our time of lockdown, this old man certainly grabbed the imagination of millions — a ray of sunshine in the darkness.

So, who is Captain soon to be Sir Tom Moore?

A civil engineer, he was conscripted into the Duke of Wellington Regiment in 1940 and rose to the position of second lieutenant a year later.

He was stationed in India, where he ran a training program for army motorcyclists.

Later, he achieved the rank of captain.

After the war, Captain Tom went on to serve in Burma, and Sumatra following the Japanese surrender and went on to see out his army service as an armoured fighting vehicle instructor.

Captain Tom survived in battle and was the recipient of four medals, however, his great love is motorcycles and he has ridden competitively.

In more recent times, the veteran has written a book, Tomorrow will be a Good Day.

The book is an autobiography.

It spans his life, from the battlefields of Burma, right up to his laps of the garden to raise money for the National Health Service.

Life continues to throw up individuals, like Captain Tom, that make me feel so humble.

And I am always blown away by the resilience or sheer hardness that some people demonstrate, not to mention, attitude.

People like him are special but not unique.

As I get older, I’m finding that it is these individuals who really hold up the legs of our world.

Selfless, caring, just-get-in-and-do-it people.

I salute you Captain Tom, and may your spirit continue to glow.

* Peter Fiorenza is the host of Fiorenza on Sunday, 10am to noon on Radio MAMA.

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