But this story… This story is wildly different from that of Kong Hee’s. No China Wine. No geishas. But a story of painted faces. Of honour and camaraderie. Of brotherhood. Of doing a sacred duty of doing their bit to defend their home, their loved ones, their nation.
It’s the story of 823 Singapore Infantry Regiment. It’s a story that was sparked by a personal note the Commanding Officer (CO) wrote to his regiment. He had intended the note to be for his men in the regiment. But it went viral. And The New Paper picked it up. And came up with a story that focussed on the great lengths different members of the regiment went to play their part in the evaluation of their regiment.
One of the men “could have been declared non-combat fit after his bout with cancer, but his bond with his fellow servicemen in the 823 Singapore Infantry Regiment is so strong that he insisted on taking part in their in-camp training (ICT).” Another delayed the honeymoon his wife and him had long planned for. And the last person who was featured left the side of his mum, who was dying of cancer, to serve.
When I first read the CO’s note, I thought that he was a high flying army scholar. But it seems like I was wrong. He’s not one of them anointed SAF Overseas Scholars. And it seems like he’s not even a career soldier when he was leading the men of 823 SIR. He’s a LTC(NS). NS… means at least at the time he was leading his men for their last exercise together as a regiment, being a soldier wasn’t his full time job. And, as the story in The New Paper pointed out, he’s a pastor. And a founder of a training consultancy.
Now this is one pastor’s story which is extremely inspirational.
(Featured image from LTC(NS) Darren Tan’s Facebook page)