His family was waiting for him to return home from camp last Saturday so they could celebrate his second sister's birthday.
But tragedy struck that day when Corporal First Class (CFC) Liu Kai, 22, lost his life in a training incident.
The full-time national serviceman died after a Bionix armoured vehicle reversed into a Land Rover he was driving as part of a field training exercise in the Jalan Murai training area.
Speaking mostly in Mandarin to the media at CFC Liu's wake at Block 787D Woodlands Crescent yesterday afternoon, his second sister, who declined to be named, said her brother was very close to the family.
"Nov 3 was my birthday, but it also turned out to be the day that he died. We would always celebrate together. He really loved his family," she said.
CFC Liu's father, who also declined to be named, said the news was hard to accept as CFC Liu was his only son. "But it was his duty to serve national service," he added.
The duo shared that after completing his NS, CFC Liu planned to go to university and get a job as an engineer.
CFC Liu's parents and two older sisters were applying to become Singapore citizens, according to his second sister. The family has lived here for more than a decade. They moved from China to Singapore when the three siblings were in primary school.
His father said he was a "filial son". "When his mother had thyroid cancer in April this year, he took good care of her. They had a close relationship and he told her everything."
CFC Liu was also an active member of Truth Baptist Church, where he attended Sunday services, said his sister. "He was planning to take leave to go to northern Thailand for mission work in December and had been asking me for his passport."
CFC Liu's father and sister said CFC Liu was a hard-working and thoughtful individual who was kind to others.
"He often studied until late into the night. He would also help his schoolmates with their revision," said his sister. "He was big-hearted and took part in events such as charity runs. When his friends needed help, he would encourage them to stay positive."
CFC Liu, who enlisted in April this year, was also determined and motivated during training. He was well-liked by his peers and seen as a good example, they added.
His father said: "He was proud to do NS. He served happily and asked us to go to his passing-out parade to take pictures with him."
CFC Liu's sister declined to comment on the investigations by the Ministry of Defence as they are still ongoing, but she said she "believes Mindef will give us justice".