Even though the pioneer generation of soldiers have retired, they still play an important role in ensuring that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) stay strong.
And these veterans should share their experiences with younger soldiers so they will appreciate how far Singapore has come, said Lieutenant-General (Ret) Winston Choo yesterday. "We should tell them what it was like in our time, when we had to build up the SAF. It was hard work," said the 74-year-old, who led the SAF from 1974 to 1992.
"A lot of young people think we have no threats now. That's not true. The moment you let your guard down, you will have a big threat." The former officer was speaking to reporters at a dinner last night to mark the 50th anniversary of the SAF.
The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng, 47, said veterans were being invited back to army camps to share their experiences. "These are poignant lessons of history that will imbue in our young soldiers a sense of responsibility," he said.
The SAF has also made a difference beyond Singapore. It sent 38 servicemen to Nepal for relief efforts after the April 25 earthquake.
Senior Warrant Officer Selvanathan Selvarajoo, 52, said it is through such efforts that "we build stronger friendships, and I think that is an important role of the SAF".