It is not exactly SG50, but most of us are now 58 years old. We met last Tuesday night after nearly 40 years since we completed the officer cadet course in 1977. From a 20 year-old young man during our National Service (NS) days, we certainly aged. With extra pounds in the wrong places, greying hairs, receding hairlines, and wrinkles we may not recognise each other when we pass each other on the street. But last Tuesday, it changed all that. We talked, we laughed, we studied each other and because of the special bondage, we knew each other again. Names may fail me, but when we recalled those times in the NS, it came back. These are the same people we trained together back in the 70’s.
NS brought together people of different backgrounds, regardless of different races, different family backgrounds, different educational levels, and different schools attended. We trained and fought as a unit. This is one aspect of a Singapore identity for a Singaporean male. No one can take that away from us.