18 years old once again...

I went to an army mate's wedding last night. Being the only guy from my anti tank platoon in what is essentially a scout platoon wedding, I didn't expect myself to fit in their conversation. However, it turn out to be quite an experience.

It has been a long while since I last saw this guys. Though we were from from different platoons, we have lived together for 2.5 years during NSF and served 10 years NS together. There were a boisterous and fun lot and now even at almost middle age, they still are.

The dinner began as other wedding dinner goes. Trading of talks about work and marital status. Not to mention the flashing of children's photos on our smart phones. Guys in shirts, long pants and dinner jackets. Stuffy things.

Then the talk on old missions and overseas exercises started. The shared experiences starting flowing. From the sands of Thailand, the rolling hills of Taiwan, the brutal jungles of Brunei to the wastelands of Lim Chu Kang. The stories kept going... Stories of incredible long walks, great escapes, amazing navigational skills and near misses kept coming. The horror of the Silkair MI185 disaster was also relived. Suddenly, I don't see the guys in their stuffy clothes. I see them in their camouflaged and fatigued faces, their jungle hats and their sweat soaked uniforms.

The wedding dinner went on and concluded but we remained seated and more stories flow on. When the last guest have left, one of the guys let lose a tirade of full military spec expletives. We laughed out loud. We were really back to those days.

Finally it was time to go. The whole lot of us went to the toilet and suddenly childish pranks broke out with water and wet palm prints on each others shirts. This culminated with a game of "catching" as guys began chasing each other around the ballrooms. This guys are middle-aged men and some of which are fathers of  children, mind you.

Someone muttered, we are 18 again. We laughed.


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