10th of December 2003, that fateful morning when we first stepped
foot through the gates of Hendon; Home of the Commandos, spelt the bold
lettering outside the guardhouse, and greeted by the winged bayonet at the parade square. The emblem and the quote beneath it that we'll have etched deeply into of our hearts in time to come. That morning whereby we met each other
for the first time. The days of PTP was a prelude to what was to come,
if not itself.
Back the, despite being reminded daily
that I was enlisted to the best unit in the armed forces, that never
quite sunk into me. There was always a sense of self depreciation of not
being good enough, and I took each day with trepidation not knowing if
today will be the one that I finally call it quits and choose the easy
way out. I am glad I didn't at any point in time. Besides, I don't think
I'll ever have the chance to. The likes of YH, Quek, TL, CC and all
would never allow it, like how we willed TL over the last 4km of 72.
the way some of them chose out, others got eliminated and we became 3
Coy 04/06. Tangible memories like all that had happned; Airborne Atec
and overseas. Intangible ones like how we relied on TL's alarm clock
every morning during trainee days, and how we were almost late one
morning when the clock gave up on us despite us already awake on our
bed, and simply refusing to face up to reality. Haha. The blisters on
our hands that we thought will never heal, the abrasions at the most
tender of spots that made even the toughest men cringe.
was never the fittest nor the fastest, and I was overweight. True to
the recruitment officer's words, everything can be trained. And indeed
it was. In fact it was only during the moment we were fitted for our No 1
uniforms that it finally dawned upon me that I was part of the best
unit in the armed forces, and we didn't screw up badly enough to upset
the tradition of appearing at the National Day Parade as the Army's
Guard of Honour. Through these all, I was never alone. I completed this
journey with my buddies. Strangers whom we met in Hendon but turned out
to be very good friends in the end. We never wanted to the one that fail
our buddies. For the uninitiated, sad to say, you'll never understand
what we went through; the bond and camaraderie that we've developed.
It was through suffer that men bond, quoting YK.
the ICT cycles and it all, I am both thankful and glad that they were
spent with the awesome guys of 3 Coy. This journey that started a decade
ago with so much uncertainties and doubt, had now been concluded with
my last reservist call up earlier in July/August. It was a bittersweet
moment. Knowing that I no longer have to worry about any IPPTs; yet the
beret that we've poured our blood, sweat and tears, literally, into
earning will now rest between my mattress and bed till the end.
It was unspoken and somewhat poignant but deep inside everyone of us we
knew that although this phase is over, it will never be. For friends
you've made in Hendon are friends for life.
Here's to a special decade of friendship, and am definitely looking forward to a few more in future!
The six of us went missing. Really time to quit bros.. And yes that includes the social smokers!
Can you guess..
What is burger without pickles!
Visibly satisfied, after the LONG wait.FYI YH doesn't smoke. Explains why he's at the table