VoicesOf Youth

Celebrate each soldier on SAF Day

On Singapore Armed Forces Day last Friday, we celebrated the presence, capability and strong development of the SAF.

But we should also celebrate every soldier, who collectively makes the SAF what it is.

I have lived in Singapore for almost 18 years. I grew up "culturally Singaporean" but was always told that this was not my country.

Hence, when it was time for me to serve national service, I was not keen and found it difficult to find meaning and motivation to do well in my NS journey.

I felt out of place at times, especially when reciting the SAF pledge, which makes me pledge allegiance to Singapore and promise to protect its sovereignty.

It always brings back the question: Why must I serve?

I now see NS as the only way to preserve my links to this nation, where I spent my childhood. This country has shaped my values and beliefs drastically, and I don't wish to lose the important connections I have with this island.

Every Singapore soldier has a story of his own. This is the beauty of the SAF. It brings people from all walks of life together.

I hope that we, soldiers, are aware of the vibrancy within our ranks, and never forget to celebrate our role. I hope that each one of us will find the true meaning of serving, whether it springs from patriotism or a sense of camaraderie with our comrades.

Vivek T., 18,

full-time NSman

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2016, with the headline 'Celebrate each soldier on SAF Day'. Print Edition | Subscribe