April. Well this year, it is a happy month for me personally. Why? It’s my birthday on the 22nd of this month, the coming of age, 18 Years Old. Also this very 19th April is the Easter Vigil when my oath to the Lord for a year of service to him culminates to a high point, and I am delighted to be able to lead my Elects to their rebirth through the waters of Baptism.
First my birthday:It is a common thing for every boy since ancient times to arrive at 18 years , and it is a very proud time for the young man. In Ancient Sparta, at the age of 16 already, you might be already enrolled in the spartan army itself. Even my patron saint Constantine the Great was already fighting battles at the age of 17 with Emperor Diocletian. Not that I want to go into battle, but I would be proud to represent singapore in a war that might not come at 95% probability. I hope and pray that war will never come to our peaceful beautiful home island of Singapore.
Speaking of battles, yes. I have just registered and arranged my medical checkup at CMPB recently and to confirm my deferment for further studies which I’m aiming to do. I wish to go to the best suitable poly with my low GPA which is Republic Poly. Republic Poly, though not too popular with some people, will at least enable me to get a diploma which is better than a Higher Nitec as the last certificate I obtain before going to National Service.
National Service… I don’t know what to say about it. Ai yo! Two years of my time, as our Local army songs go. But in the ‘Ah Boys to Men’ movie, Jack Neo has taught us, ” If not you, then who else?” Also, personally for me, holding a rifle to fight and die for my country might not be my army experience due to my medical conditions. When everyone is doing something to defend our beloved Singapore, I would be in the office typing documents. Of course, these documents might be important too, or I may be engaged in doing whatever duties assigned to a Pes C-D personnel. Two years, even if it’s hard work, seem so useless and not so commonly viewed as necessary as Singapore has been living in an era of Peace and Harmony ever since World War 2 and the Indonesian Confrontation. However, it is still important.
Let us take a look back in time, to the City State of Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia or the Renaissance era. Republic of Venice was like Singapore and she depended on the maritime trade for prosperity and as a means to survive. But in defence, the venetians only had foreign mercenaries and not an army of its own. Foreign Mercenaries which formed the majority were still loyal to their own countries. Eventually this led to the fall of Venice when Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Venice without a single musket shot fired. Will we rely on foreigners to defend our own nation or shall we ourselves take up arms in war? Already because of our cooperation with Israel, the two nations have worked together to create items such as the MATADOR. Israel. . . So even our own Lord has favored us, working with the descendants of the Sons of Israel.
Our Armed Forces has also created our own rifles already well-known by locals and around the world as well: The SAR-21 Rifle , the country’s personal rifle for the sons of Singapore. To end this part of the article, I would add that if I would not serve as a soldier for the government of our nation, there is still something more important. We as the sons born on this safe paradise of ours, safe and secure, clean, green, colourful and vibrant island must serve our land. By this, my meaning is that I personally will persevere in my time during National Service. My life as a soldier will not just be for the glory of our government (as NS-men we all swear to serve the constitution), but more importantly that we serve our beloved home island, holding our loved ones, family and friends close to our hearts when we serve these two years of our life. Loyal to our duty, we will make sure that we preserve the liberty and freedom of what a republic like ours should deserve.
And that’s the end of the my first part of this article on my coming of age ….April Part 2