How much do you understand about our Army? Guys, is it "just something you have to go through because you're a citizen", or does it actually mean anything? Girls?
I always thought having an army in tiny little Singapore was silly. I mean, yes? If they wanted, a single bomb would be enough to sink us, I think.
Read: This young man's thoughts on AOH & the army had me in chuckles. Oh so I'm not the only one who had mixed feelings about the SAF. ;P
I wanted to know more, to understand why. Our government is one of the best, and probably one of the smartest in the world. I needed to see why they needed an army. (To fight what? Who? Can we really fight?) Thus the acceptance of an invitation to the Army Open House 2012.
It was the first time that it was going to be held in the "city". Past Army Open Houses have usually been held at ulu areas in the outskirts of the island, like some camp in Jurong or somewhere like that. To increase visibility this year they took the effort to transport their tanks and (almost) the whole army showcase to the F1 Pit beside the Singapore Flyer~
(Have I mentioned that I have NEVER been to the Singapore Flyer? Oops)
I know each of these tanks have a specific purpose. But I can never remember them. As long as our guys know, I'm okay. Lol.
|Cool gadgets used by our Army.|
It was hot. Like, really really hot. And I'm someone who's terrified of having the sun damage my skin, so it took a lot for me to actually sit through the whole half-hour parade showcase under the sun.
*Why oh why didn't I just wear long sleeves~~~*
So much fuss has been made about our Red Lions Parachuting Team from the Commandos. You know how each National Day Parade, these guys would be the stars? & have you ever wondered why on earth would we include them in performances such as this, and NDP?
It actually trains them to perform under pressure, and to land in exactly the spot they should. Imagine if they land in the water. Worse, if it's during an actual war and they somehow land anywhere, anyhow.
& of course, because they are crowd favorites!
Another reason to keep me at my seat: Sandra. Notice that girl in blue at the back? She was a fellow contestant at the inaugural Project Superstar back in 2005, and I remember her as the very very pretty girl with oh-my-goodness-strong vocals. She's now with the SAF Music & Dance Company!
So one doesn't need to have black orbiang hair to be in SAF MDC. Maybe I should consider...
Those with a love for performing, this is one way you can serve your country while doing what you love, & you get paid for it. How nice~ ;)
The Dynamic Defence Demonstration didn't disappoint. Our guys, apart from being good fighters, proved to be good actors too. I was really worried for the guy being "bitten" by our K9 doggy~ Though I was sure he had on protective garments, the German Shepherd was really fierce & it was dragging the man with its teeth! *scary*
I had my trusted rain-or-shine brolly with me (with UV protection! Lol~~~) I felt kinda guilty that I was in a way blocking the people behind me...
If you were one of those, I hereby apologize.
At the end of the show they "fired" lots of these tiny toy Red Lions! So cute max!
This year, the Army celebrates 45 years of National Service. Uh huh, National Service was introduced 45 years ago, just 2 years after our nation gained independence. =D
Inside the NS45 Showcase, I got a chance to learn more about the history of NS, how it has evolved from a 1st generation to a 3rd generation fighting force. 1st generation would be your granddaddy's time? 2nd generation daddy's time, and 3rd generation would include the young men of today.
Coincidentally, the theme of this year's AOH is From Fathers to Sons. I particularly find the theme this year very meaningful.
Feeling every bit like I've walked into a Harry Potter setup, with pictures that move and wave at you.
Let the pictures speak...
|This line gripped me.|
|The letter that so many young men dread to receive. Lol. You have no idea how NS will change your mindset, my dears.|
|Creating a hole amidst bushes and plants so enemies can't see you.|
|Do the Watermelon makeup! Lol~|
I kinda miss the old SAF uniform. I witnessed it (& even helped with the folding of the sleeves!) worn by my uncles & some of my best friends. This new uniform is to fully replace the old one by July 2012.
To dispose of the old ones, you have to cut them up into pieces prior to throwing away, or return to any eMart for proper disposal.
I wonder if you can keep them as mementos...
|According to some of the men, they said they loved the chocolate bar the MOST. What's your favorite? Feeling nostalgic yet? ^.^|
It was heartwarming to see that many sons have continued on their father's vocations - pilots to pilots, artillery to artillery etc. I felt how strong a father's influence can be at this stage of the showcase, and how having a common mindset towards serving the nation can really foster father-son bonding.
|"National Service is about doing my part to keep my loved ones safe."|
These messages say so much, & I felt a little overwhelmed as I stood there for a while and took them all in.
I left my very own message, thanking all NSmen for serving our nation, while we often took for granted the freedom to wander around at 3am hunting for roti prata & us girls being able to head home by ourselves after a night of partying with the girlfriends.
The showcase was what really made me understand more about how and why our army is there, and I was so glad that I took that opportunity to visit AOH 2012. =)
What else is there? I know AOH is over, but you can count on an even better experience next year. That is what our nation does best, making each large-scale event better than the last. =D
You get to test your soldiering skills...
|Uh huh. Even kids get to have fun at AOH!|
We were also given a chance to ride on the floating bridge! You don't get this kinda opportunity every day. Mai tu liao!!!!
|Jayne being all excited about the ride!|
|The kids from CheekieMonkie.net!|
Thank you Jayne, for going for many events with me!
She's like the mother hen of single bloggers like me. Else I would feel so awkward, esp if I don't know anyone~! Lol~
All bloggers, journalists, media people were just snapping away~
Because we KNOW this is once-in-a-lifetime!!! Hello?!! Try asking the army if they will let you go on the floating bridge for fun at other times. See if they entertain you. They got a serious business of protecting the nation to run.
One more rare opportunity - to ride in one of those mean fighting machines!!!!
This could be nothing for the guys. But for us girls? Being able to get into the Bionix or Terrex was AWESOME!!!!!
Btw, I don't think all NSmen get to ride on every of these vehicles right?
Messy and sweaty and hot and IN THE SUN, but heh~ worth it yo~!!!
Tired after AOH, I discovered an 80s/90s food court at the Flyer (yes, I still haven't gone onto the Flyer despite everything...lol)...
Log onto NS45.sg to find out more about NS45's happenings this year.
Parting note: Whether you are an NSmen, a father, a son, a daughter, wife, sister, girlfriend, or even just a friend, the NS is part of our lives. Giving the NSmen in your life the support they need is a little something we can all do. After all, you are most probably the reason that keeps them going in their toughest times...