The running robot: The infantryman, prologue

Lately, I being reading up book from written by a Irish infantry captain who served in Afghanistan. With this, my interest in the conflict grew, I began searching for ways to connect with those troops who were deployed on the ground in Afghanistan. I found well written blogs maintained by both the British Army and by a British RAF airman.

They can be found here at:

rafairman.wordpress.com/

britisharmy.wordpress.com/afghanistan/

Why am I so supportive of the army? Most Singaporean boys see National Service as a chore and probably want to hear no more of it once it is done. Unlike many of my contempories who have served the army, I do not bear any grudge towards the forces. Do remember that I was one of those who had a hard time adjusting to military life during basic military training (BMT).

I should have ended up as an army hater since I suffer greatly during the beginning. There were times during boot camp that I wish I could break a bone or sometime so that I could be discharged from military service.

However, as I served a tour of duty with the infantry regiment that I was assigned to. My perspective changed over time. And as I got older, I realise that it was really a period of time whereby I truly felt alive. Together with the regiment, I was deployed to Thailand, Taiwan and Brunei. Close friendships were forged with fellow platoonmates which lasted till this day.

Having said those grandiose words of nostalgia, it was not all fun and games during those times. In fact, it was a whole lot of suffering and I came very close to being a fatality several times. Perhaps not as dangerous as serving in a war zone, but nevertheless dangerous times. That may be the reason it made me felt so alive.
In all, I did two tour of duties in the infantry. The first as an active soldier when I was 18 years all the way till I was 20, bearing the classic, offen jammed M16. The second tour was as a reservist troop from age 26 to 32, bearing the new,unjammable SAR21.

The beautiful thing about these two tours was that I served with the same troopers and commanders. We grew old together. Both regiments that I served in has since retired and faded away. I do miss those times sometimes.

This is the reason I decided to embark on this series of posts on the infantryman. In these series, I will be writing down all the experiences into this blog before my memory fades away. Hopefully, it also serve as a guiding light for younger Singaporean sons who are about to walk down the same paths.

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