Wang Shengquan and we could be called old friends. He was posted to Gambara mountain in 1994, the same year Gambara was awarded the honor of "Hero Station." After more than 20 years, he was the oldest soldier there, holding second-class and third-class merits, and was an outstanding soldier of the PLA and excellent member of the Communist Party of China. His fame grew fast. In the early winter of 2015, we decided to interview him. Unexpectedly, we found some people describe him as "quite fussy," while others likened him to an "old ox" who served people heart and soul. What was he really like, we wondered.
Corporal Jia Lianfa tells a story of Wang. One day in the autumn of 2012, Jia cast a drinking bottle out a window of a training room. Wang was passing by and ordered him to come down and pick up the bottle. "I murmured to myself, ‘My squad leader said nothing, but you order me around…’." Out of respect to Wang, Jia picked up the bottle and assumed that was an end to the matter. However, Wang reported the incident to the station commander and named Jia at a meeting. "At that time I hated him so much," recalls Jia.
Wang loves to mind others’ business, which is sometimes heart-warming. In 2008, a soldier named Zheng Yousong died in a car accident while helping take someone to hospital, leaving a wife two months pregnant. She gave birth to a daughter and struggled to make a living with part-time jobs. Hearing of this in 2013, Wang initiated the Gambara Fund to help all needy veterans of the Gambara Station.
Most people feel Wang is like the station concierge. The Gambara Fund is partly sourced from garbage recycling. On Wang’s suggestion, the station began to use classified dustbins to maximize recycling. Wang checks each bin carefully to ensure the trash is properly sorted. He remembers to renovate facilities at the station, be it a broken window or a chair. He returned from one vacation with a dung ladle, a spray bottle and seeds for the greenhouse gardening. Political Instructor Li Zaihua says Wang is the station treasure. The flourishing vegetables and bonsai are Wang’s legacy.