By Tian Guosong He Wutao
At an anti-epidemic exhibition in Hubei Military Region, a donation note of 11,800 RMB yuan (about USD 1690) caught the eye of the visiting service members. This note was left by Tang Guangyou, a former deputy commanding officer of then Xianning Prefectural Military Command under the Hubei Provincial Military Command, who had passed away at the age of 94 on February 23, 2020. He had asked his family to donate this sum of money to the frontline members against the COVID-19 pandemic, and to donate his body for medical research during his last days.
Tang Guangyou participated in the revolution in 1948 and was honored as the “Lei Feng-style cadre” of the whole military in 1979. He was granted a first-class merit citation in 1983 and awarded the title of “Public Servant of the People, Model of Veterans” by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the former General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 1984.
According to the archives of the Hubei Provincial Military Command, in the 20th century, Tang Guangyou had made donations in the amount of hundreds or thousands yuan each time, while in the past 20 years, he began to donate in thousands or tens of thousands yuan each time. According to statistics, he had donated more than 240 times and over 1.1 million RMB yuan (about USD 157,100 ) in total.
In 1963, when there was a flood in Xiangyang, Tang Guangyou participated in the flood-fighting. Although only having 130 yuan, he donated 100 yuan; In 1976, during the Tangshan earthquake, he sent 200 yuan to the disaster-stricken area but being returned, he then paid it as CPC membership dues; In 2012, he paid special Communist Party of China (CPC) membership dues of 100,000 yuan (about USD 14,3000); In 2017, he donated 10,000 yuan and funded 300,000 yuan (about USD 42,900) for the establishment of the "Tang Guangyou Relief Fund"to help the elderly and children in difficulties; In 2019, he donated 300,000 yuan (about USD 42,900) for poverty alleviation...
"I won’t be frozen or starving without that money, but it can change other people’s fate, and I hope more people could thus feel the warmth from the Party," Tang said. Compared with his generosity in helping others, Tang lived a extremely simple life. He had kept wearing an old-fashioned military uniform for more than 10 years and using a self-made dinning talbe for half a century.
In 1985, Tang Guangyou was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Since then, he had been fighting against the disease with a tough will for more than 30 years. "My whole life is given by the Party and the people. When I die, I will donate my body to the medical development," he wrote in his diary.
Although Tang has passed away, his spirit continued to pass on. Since last year, all walks of life in Xianning City, Hubei Province have established 65 volunteer service teams in the name of Tang Guangyou and Leifeng, with a large number of Party members active in the frontline posts trying to serve the people.