It's early in the morning and the sun isn't even up yet as I prepare to go to the office. I got a pile of unopened mail waiting for me and since it's the beginning of a new month, I figured I better whittle down that pile of envelopes waiting for me in the kitchen as I'm sure that some of them ought to be credit card bills. Don't ever owe the banks if you can help it, that's never a healthy thing to do. Ignore that and you might just find yourself entrapped before you know what happened.
So I started tearing open the envelopes left, right and center to get my mitts on their contents (feels like Christmas) and came across the following that brought a smile to my face:
Yup, I've completed not just my 2 and a half years of National Service from mid '95 till the final month of '97, I've also completed my 10 years cycle of Reservist duties. Apparently, I'm now old enough to be excused for good from any further soldiering and it's really a nice gesture from Mindef to show appreciation for the services rendered towards the nation from us discharged troopers.
This made me smile as memories of my NS, Reservist and camp buddies all the way from Basic Military Training to my permanent unit in the Air Force came flooding back. My National Service was an experience I will never ever forget and I had a good one overall, I'm glad to say.
The muscle-aches, the exhaustion, the ghostly and unexplained encounters, watching your buddies hit Point Break and then getting back up on their feet again because we were soldiers and we didn't allow ourselves to get pinned down for too long, the no-holds barred partying, the fights that always ended up with everybody being cool with everybody else again, the constant homesickness that was your constant companion, the thousand-yard stares, the defaulter parades, the confinements, the guard duties, the funny as hell and innovative pranks we pulled on one another 'cause we would have gone GaGa if we didn't find things to entertain ourselves, the encouragement we gave one another 'cause we had no one else to rely and count on in the jungle and in camp.. these are experiences as a whole you won't forget.
So after I was done reading the front of the letter, I flipped it over to see what was on the back and I went "Woah.." when I saw the following:
If you have to pay taxes every year, I'm sure you will appreciate it very much if you can get $1,500 shaved off, yes? I already expected the rest of the points printed here but I wasn't expecting the tax deduction at all, so it was an unexpected pleasant surprise, gotta say. My Lioness agreed that that's a nice gesture from Mindef and a nice privilege for us men who have served the nation.
Erm, the only thing bad about the whole matter is that it's making me feel kinda old but I guess I can come to grips with that and live with it, heh.
It's nice to be remembered and you are most welcome, Mindef.
-De Lion Speaks