Incredible – Chinese Veteran Who Lost His Sight In WW2 Gets His Wish – To Touch Modern Tanks

Chinese armored vehicles used against the Japanese during WWII.
Chinese armored vehicles used against the Japanese during WWII.

Qian Jianmin, 94, a blind veteran of the Chinese army who fought against the Japanese in World War II got his wish – to touch the latest tanks in the Chinese army. He had told a volunteer with a welfare group for aging war veterans that he wanted to touch and know what the military’s newest tanks were like.  The volunteer posted a request for help on the Chinese microblog service, Weibo, which is similar to Facebook.

“We don’t know which unit to contact to help him fulfill his wish,” the volunteer said, but the online post went viral with over 28,000 shares and over 30,000 likes in a week. It didn’t take long before they got a response from the military.

Qian was able to fulfill his wish. He put on his military uniform, traveled over an hour from his home in Shizhou to an army base where he was greeted by volunteers.  Six tanks had been prepared for his inspection.

Volunteers said that Qian teared up when he placed his hands on the tanks and remembered the old tanks he used to operate.

He served on the front line in Myanmar against the Japanese during WW2.  He lost his sight in the line of service.  He was 24 at the time.

Qian attended military school and studied at Chongqing’s Ground Force Mechanization Institute, where he became familiar with armored vehicles, Mashable reported.

Qian said that he wants to donate his body to science.  He feels it is the last thing he can do for his country.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE