Ex-POWs Meet Anonymous Benefactor

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Sep 17, 2004
Moorpark, CA
Great stuff!
Ex-POWs Meet Anonymous Benefactor
Associated Press | February 01, 2006
NORFOLK, Virginia - A small group of former prisoners of war finally came face to face Wednesday with an anonymous benefactor who has been paying their monthly restaurant tab for the last several years.

Five of the men, all in their 80s and prisoners of war in the Pacific during World War II, met William Blair, an Army veteran and businessman from Suffolk, Virginia. They presented him with an American flag aboard the USS Bataan Naval ship.

"Mr. Blair, it's nice to finally meet you," said David Topping, 84, of Chesapeake, Virginia, who has been meeting with fellow POWs for breakfast for about 30 years. Topping survived the Bataan Death March and was held by the Japanese for three years and four months.

Blair said the men were his heroes and that he was happy to have been able to do something for them because Pacific POWs "have never been honored like European POWs."

He said he couldn't recall exactly how long he's been paying the tab and that he's never bothered to add up how much he's spent over the years.

Blair said he pulled up into the parking lot at Bunny's Restaurant in Suffolk, Virginia one day and was touched by the sight of several cars with POW license plates. Inside, he noticed a group of men at a table and asked the restaurant owner about them.

Told they were Pacific POWs, Blair said he wanted to pick up their check anonymously. Blair, 69, said he's just a very private person.

About a year ago, though, a waitress accidentally let the secret slip, said Donna House, a Navy veteran who began attending the breakfasts after befriending one of the POWs. The group had been trying, unsuccessfully, since then to meet Blair.

Last week, House contacted the USS Bataan in Norfolk to ask about flying a flag over the ship to present to Blair. The ship's commanding officer agreed to the request and also invited the whole group - and Blair - to have breakfast on the ship.

Blair said he intends to keep paying for the group's breakfasts at the restaurant.

Asked whether he might start eating with the men, he smiled and said, "I probably will, now that I've been found out."
im just being "pilosopo" or LITERAL dude i just came from school

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