A VETERAN who served with Lee Rigby is holding a fundraising night to support the murdered soldier’s family.
Jason Lewis met Fusilier Rigby in 2006 on exercise, on Salisbury Plain.
The 31-year-old said: ‘I actually bumped into two of the lads I grew up with in Lancashire.
‘Lee was a very happy-go-lucky kind of guy.
‘We were having a bit of a laugh, talking rubbish, having a cigarette and brew.’
Jason, of Astra Walk, in Gosport, served in the 2nd Battalion of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
But despite being in a different regiment, he met Fusilier Rigby several times while posted to the army base in Warminster.
Jason added: ‘I got to meet him on a few occasions, when we were doing battle field simulations.
‘He was good at his job, a fusilier as well as a drummer.’
Jason, who served in the army for more than nine years now works at The White Hart pub, Stoke Road, Gosport.
Bar staff are holding a fundraiser on Saturday, July 27, with cash going to Fusilier Rigby’s family.
The solider was brutally killed in Woolwich on May 22.
Two men, Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, have been charged with his murder and are due to stand trial at the Old Bailey on November 18.
Jason said he was left ‘fuming’ after the murder.
He said: ‘I actually said to my girlfriend, I hope it’s not one of the blokes from my battalion.
‘I was on Facebook trying to message the lads, but it wasn’t until the following day I found out (it was Fusilier Rigby).’
Jason wants to both fundraise for Fusilier Rigby’s family and Help for Heroes, and bang the drum for servicemen and women.
He added: ‘Being an ex-serviceman, but still on the reserves list, we still look our for each other, no matter whether we’re serving or have left.
‘It would be nice to give some of this money to his family, because I didn’t get the chance to meet them.
‘Just to help them in any way possible, because I know his child is not going to have a father again.
‘I want to raise awareness what’s going on with our troops.
‘We need a lot of communities to understand what we do, what we do for our country, we don’t get enough respect.’
The event at The White Hart starts will feature a raffle, with items donated from local firms and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.