Hope this will help some going to be NSF make better decision. Thus what is the lesson we learn from this incident and those before, whether you are NSF or NS men.
1) Clarify with the superior if you are not clear about procedures or the equipment or training. If they cannot provide a satisfactory answer to assure your safety, you can choose to fall out and not participate in it. 2 years of NS is only a small phase in your life. It is not worth throwing your life away if your superiors cannot ensure your safety and welfare are taken care of.
2) Sound out if you feel uncomfortable and please fall out immediately. Don’t be threatened by any scare tactic that anything will happen to you if you don’t continue the training. The only worse thing that can happen is if you drop dead or suffer permanent injury while training.
3) During medical centre trip, if MO says you are suitable to go back for training, tell the MO that you really don’t feel well and insist for MC or light duty. Be persist! You know your body condition and health the best… Don’t entrust your life to MO who can only assess your status at that point in time. And that is also being fair to the MO as well.
4) When doing light duty, please sound out if you cannot do certain actions due to illness or injury, or cannot carry heavy things. No one knows you are not well or your limitation unless you sound out. Be brave. No one will fault you for speaking out for your own safety!
To future parents or those with sons who are ready to enter NS, please teach them to think logically and sensibly when serving the country. There will come a time when they are not ready to participate in a training (whether due to illness or other circumstances)- falling out or reporting sick is their given rights! They should exercise their rights! And not be scared by any superior or be peer pressured! Remind them to monitor their own body conditions at all time. It is their obligation to look after themselves!
Lastly, let me share with you a little story during my BMT time, we were doing running around the field in tekong, then a guy suddenly had a neck cramp and his neck was twisted to face only one side. He couldn’t turn his neck at all! His veins are protruding out! He was obviously in pain. And you know what happened? All the sergeants who saw his situation (pretty shocking) just left him alone to rest and they continue with the rest of training with others.
Not a first aider was with this poor fellow. I don’t know what happened to that fellow in the end, but imagine if there is possible complication due to the neck cramp. No one will be able to attend to him immediately as he was left alone.
This incident was a decade ago. Things have changed for the better now. But that incident was a good reminder to me and to the readers here and to your sons, that you are responsible for your own body. Fall out if you feel uncomfortable!