NSmen Share: Family Matters

NSmen share how family support got them through their NS days.

By Kelvin Low      24 May 2021

For many NSF, it’s the thought of going home to a warm, home-cooked meal and a loving family that keeps them going through a week of tough training. In this installation, some of our NSmen share their fond memories of how their families showed their support.


Chap (second from right)

“NS was a bittersweet experience for me. Being posted to Guards came as a shock as I wasnt expecting it and I knew it was going to be more physically demanding. But its also the place where I met my buddy whom I am still very close with. I emceed for his wedding, and he gave me a godson. I pretty much didnt tell my mum what I was doing in the army as I didnt want her to worry for my well-being. Every weekend she’d prepare my favourite food, mostly pork dishes, and also brewed herbal tea for me.” – Chap Heng, CPL, 3GDS 9th Mono, 661GDS


“My mother was extremely supportive during my time in the army. In fact, it was during my very first book-in when I saw my typically stern mother burst into tears, only to send me a deeply emotional and nostalgic text message after. While not openly affectionate, it was the little things that she did that hinted at her staunch support and love for me. She made it a custom to cook dinner for me after every book out (which is atypical for her as she has a rather busy professional life) and even went to a temple to pray for my safety! Thank you mummy for your devotion and care for me.”– Sean Yee, 3SG, Signal Spec SI (Signal Institution).


“Amongst many good things that happened, I picked up some real cool skills during my time as an NSF! I learnt how to drink… water by the jerry cans(figuratively)! How to parachute and land on tarmac without broken bones! I learnt how to evade and escape my instructors during topo exercise. I eventually learnt in OCS and amongst the best in the army, what it means to be a leader. The NS experience has no doubt shaped my leadership style; to keep a laser focus on the mission, leading at the front, caring for our men, never shy away from righting a wrong or confronting a fear in life. All these are not possible if not for the quiet love of my mother which had supported me through NS, and even in life now.” – Gideon Loh, Maj (NS), Defence Psychology Department


“My family gave me verbal encouragement and moral support to perform my best when serving the nation. Their unwavering support without expectations allowed me to pave my own road on how I wanted to serve the nation. When I thought about being able to spend time with my loved ones over the weekend, it motivated me to push on and endure the more gruelling outfield days. Picturing a family meal at Swensen’s or some fast food restaurant was how I got through the toughest training obstacles!” – Jeremy Teo, CPL, Changi Defence Squadron


There are only two types of people in Singapore: Those who enjoyed National Service (NS), and those who didn’t – but all will agree it was a memorable time. In this series, we speak with several NSmen who share their most memorable experiences during National Service.

Share your favourite NS memories with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg