The young men climbed onto waiting lorries while their parents looked on with teary eyes and heavy hearts, Madam Fu Chuan San recalled about the early years of national service (NS) enlistment.
Madam Fu, a member of the Women's Executive Committee at the then Aljunied Community Centre, had helped with NS registration in the early 1970s, giving out basic necessities to the enlistees.
At the community centre, some concerned mothers held their sons' hands and asked them to be careful.
"We had to speak to them and assure them that everything would be fine," said Madam Fu, now 76.
Looking back, Madam Fu, who is currently the vice-chairman of the Geylang Serai Citizens' Consultative Committee, said she felt proud that those boys answered the call to serve the country.
She noted that NS is important in keeping Singapore secure. "Without their contributions, I don't think we can feel safe."