I collected my pink IC on Friday. I have officially ORDed. Although the exact date falls on a Sunday (14 July), I got the chance to do the necessary paperwork to declare the end of my National Service, a total of two years. The collection of my pink IC signified that I am no longer an NSF, but an NSman. It has been more than 5 years in the making, after having to disrupt my NS to continue my studies and going back to service to serve my remaining 41 or so days.
The past five weeks have been one of the most memorable moments of my life. The experience I have gained is tremendous. The friends I have made, priceless. Just when you thought there is nothing much left to learn in NS, it was a whole new ballgame when I was thrust into becoming a Section Commander for a bunch of recruits fresh out from Tekong. The recruits are now my one and only group of recruits under my wing, and they have become part of something special to me. My other fellow section commanders, I am now part of a brotherhood, forging friendships so strong that I never believed it to be possible within just five weeks.
Now, just barely a day after saying goodbye to them, I sorely missed them. If I had to serve a longer period after completing my studies and going back to NS, I would definitely would have stayed on and continue working with them. I feel honoured to have known them, as I have learn a lot from them that you can never get from books, or from school. They have allowed me to pause and reflect on life , made me understand what it is like to be a better person. To rise up to the challenge, to push yourself against the boundaries of your comfort zone, with help along the way. These are the things I experienced daily while I was there.
I hope to see all of them some time in the future, wherever it may be. These group of guys are truly special and one that I will never forget in my life.