It seems Singaporeans are not quite done with picking on our men in uniform.
In a letter published on All Singapore Stuff recently, contributor Elaine ranted about the recurring massive jams around the White Sands area on Friday nights.
Blaming parents who drive and park around to pick up their sons from army, she wants “these parents and army boys to know what kind of confusion and delays they have caused”, and that they “are enjoying their conveniences at the expense of other innocent motorists!”
Airing grievances such as having to “get stuck for at least 15 minutes to get out of that place,” she calls for MINDEF to take action. She then reproaches the parents for “pampering their boys whom are serving their NS”, even making remarks like “Are these boys paralysed? Or need to be spoon fed?” and “So these army boys are what? VIPs?”
Perhaps this is what she expects from all of us:
Constant Public Scrutiny
Thanks to ‘Stomp culture’, our poor NSFs have gotten their unfair share of being slammed and ridiculed for the most ludicrous reasons.
How many times have you seen reports calling out soldiers for taking up seats on public transport?
Our soldiers deserve a seat as much as we do. There is no law stating that they cannot take up a seat on the train, and yet it’s not rare for them to be shamed for doing just that.
Like in this report, where the writer so conveniently crops the empty seat out of the photo, making the NSF look inconsiderate for not giving up his seat to an elderly woman.
Or this lady commuter, who is so affected by the “air pollution” from NSFs who book out every Friday.
The Adverse Effect Is Real
These young men go through grueling weeks in camp serving the nation, and when they’re out, they have to put up with such criticism. Because of the constant public scrutiny, the fear of public condemnation among NSFs is real.
A post on SAF Confessions tells of how two recruits were standing hesitantly, unsure of whether or not to sit, even though the train was empty.
Evidently, they are not the only ones. This photo shared by Facebook user Teguh Budiman, is captioned “Sad what public media has done isn’t it.”
This social experiment by The Hidden Good is another good example of how uncomfortable our NS men are when in the public eye. Even when a seat was put up just for them, no one took a seat.
Sad, isn’t it?
Going Beyond Military Duties
The NSFs in our country have done plenty of good and we thought it would be good to shine a light on their service to the nation, even when off-duty.
Like this soldier, who walked hand-in-hand with an elderly man as he went to purchase a tooth brush. It is especially heartwarming as it was a random stranger who grabbed onto his arm out of the blue.
Kudos to these men for their acts of kindness too:
Noticing Madam Loh Ngiuk Lan with her wheelchair-bound mother-in-law, this group of RSAF soldiers physically carried the wheelchair-bound elderly up the stairs because the lift wasn’t working.
These soldiers, who weren’t in uniform, even offered to return to carry Mdm Loh’s mother-in-law down the stairs again when they were done.
This group of off-duty SAF medics spotted an elderly woman with a bandaged head and immediately stepped forward, using their professional skills to help her.
There was also this kind NSF soldier who found a wallet and went all the way to the owner’s home to return it to her.
And this sweet lieutenant, Tee Chze Hao, who helped carry a little girl as her mother’s hands were full with things and their destination was quite a distance away.
Give Them A Break
The next time you go off on a tirade about these NSFs, spare a thought for them. Stop snapping and shaming. While it may seem like nothing, such hurtful remarks can have a big impact on the countless men who toil to protect us.
Give them a break, and more importantly, give them the respect they deserve.