NSF was a natural role model, say army buddies

Corporal First Class Dave Lee Han Xuan, who died on Monday, will be cremated tomorrow and accorded a military funeral.
Corporal First Class Dave Lee Han Xuan, who died on Monday, will be cremated tomorrow and accorded a military funeral.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Full-time national serviceman (NSF) Dave Lee Han Xuan was a natural role model who was positive and helpful, said his scout commander and a platoon mate.

In a Facebook post yesterday, the Singapore Army said Corporal First Class Lee "impacted lives of soldiers in more than one way".

The 19-year-old died on Monday, two weeks after being admitted to Changi General Hospital for heatstroke. He later received a posthumous promotion from private to corporal first class (CFC).

CFC Lee's platoon mate, who was identified only as Private Binson, was quoted in the Facebook post as saying: "Dave was a really cheerful and light-hearted man. Yet, he has taught me way more in life than I could have ever taught him."

He added that CFC Lee was caring and generous, and was positive and determined even when faced with difficult situations. "Truly, he was a soldier capable of incredible deeds, and I'm proud of him as a brother figure who has impacted our lives in so many ways," he said.

CFC Lee's scout commander, Third Sergeant Daryl, said he was a cheerful soldier who brought laughter and smiles to those around him. "Dave's passing has definitely been a huge loss to my section, the platoon, and the whole battalion. We will never forget the good times he brought into our lives, and may he rest in peace," he was quoted as saying in the Facebook post.

On Wednesday, CFC Lee's family members told the media they had decided to donate his organs. However, only his corneas could be donated.

"We really want him to contribute his best in his last moments... We really wish that the person who has received it will continue to see the world with Dave," said his mother, Madam Jasmine Yeo.

CFC Lee will be cremated tomorrow. He will also be accorded a military funeral, said the Singapore Armed Forces Chief of Staff (General Staff), Brigadier-General Siew Kum Wong, in a statement on Tuesday.

BG Siew also said CFC Lee will be awarded the Guards and Recon military tabs, as well as the Guards beret he had been training for.

In an update on Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence said an independent committee has been formed to look into the circumstances that led to CFC Lee's death.

The police will also investigate his death and a coroner's inquiry may also be held, depending on the outcome of the police investigation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2018, with the headline 'NSF was a natural role model, say army buddies'. Print Edition | Subscribe