Dear All Singapore Stuff,

Hi all, I would like to write in to appeal to the public for more understanding towards our boys in green. With the recent public submissions on army boys from being shamed for not giving up seats in trains, shitting in underwear while giving up seats and also one helped to carry a child to enable her to watch the NDP.

Before I share my opinions on those issues mentioned, I will like to give a
brief overview on our army trainings and life which will paint a better
picture on why such incidents happens quite frequently having just ORDed
months ago, it’s just that when nobody says anything, of course no one knows.

When we were enlisted for our BMT, we were briefings and as combat fit
soldiers, our training and e or rations are usually extremely demanding. It’s
good in the way that it makes us tough to fight in a war. However, sometimes
timing was so tight that we have to do our strenuous activities while holding
our bladder and bowels for Long hours, putting us at risk of peeing and
shitting in our undergarment.

We were given instructions like no inner shirts as we are only allow to wear
1 shirt ( uniform, singlet or T-shirt) at all times, also we are only allowed
to wear 2 bottoms, our underwear with pants, and its emphasised that only
underwear is allowed, no briefs, boxers or thongs. Reason being they only
allowed underwear is because they don’t want us to trap heat, brief and
boxers covers a larger portion of our thigh and that can cause heat injury.
And it’s also very awful to wear boxers or briefs with our PT and admin
shorts as the sides will be exposed or overlapped.

The reason being was very simple, although we were given a short toilet break
in between, but toilets are usually very pack as everyone is using it,
sometimes we are forced to hole our bowels and bladder to do exercises that
require a lot of pushing strength aka “Kek” in Hokkien, which will definitely
push our pee and shit out, causing us to soil and wet our pants, common
occurrence are during IPPT, field camps, SOC, standby area and long talks.
Sometimes when our commanders were not happy with our performance, we go to
ur breaks delayed while many is were already in desperate to use the toilet,
we have to do push ups for them and hold at a even more uncomfortable
position with the pain in our ass. The moment we pushing and holding at the
position, we unknowingly soiled and/or peed in our pants. Nobody will be
laughing and mocking us because it wasn’t obvious and it’s open area and also
we were all sweating and stinking.

Another reason is because we were made to drink a lot of water each time
every 10 minutes as they were very worried about us being dehydrated, so we
are drinking more than we usually do and this results in a full bladder. So
we often have to hold our bladder and bowels that we are used to as our
endurance level were boosted, however it has its limits and this pain of
holding while in desperate usually is way too unbearable for a human, let
alone being us soldiers where it will hinder our performance.

Usually while we were given time to change to another attire while in our
bunks, we usually look at each other even when we were only wearing underwear
and when we look around after all this strenuous training, we hardly see
anyone wearing a clean underwear, especially those wearing light colours
ones, we can either see drops of urine or the front is wet. This is either we
have pissed or sweat till even our underwear weren’t spared, I have got a
bunk mate who can’t hold his bladder and bowel for long ended with a
completely wet underwear and even with a lump at the bottom of it and when he
wears a white one, the stains can be seen easily. For some of us like me, we
usually wear dark coloured or black underwears, and also we choose those with
elastic band ones, not the cloth ones as its tighter, so that in the event
should we wet or soil our pants, it’s not obvious. The cloth ones would have
fall off a little if we accidentally shit our pants. And also for comfort
reasons, most of us choose expensive underwears like Renoma, Calvin Klein,
Levi’s, Hush Puppies etc. Even microfibre ones.

During our IPPT, despite having toilet breaks before that, we will be asked
to fall in, count strength, drink up and listen to briefing whic last around
20 minutes, like I said we have to drink huge amount of water. After the
briefing our IPPT commences straight, so basically if we have the urge to pee
or shit, we just have to hold until IPPT is over. Some by the time when we
are doing sit ups, as an assistant, your buddy’s underwear will be exposed
from the bottom and you can see it, those wearing light colour ones you will
see their underwear is either wet or stained with brown colour or sometimes
it’s a bit loose that you could either see the underwear lowered down or even
their faeces or even their shorts also got it. We have to endure if our buddy
soils his pants, pee doesn’t smell because it’s white.

On our bookout day, we will usually clean up our bunks to prepare for checks
before we fall in to fall out, usually before we fall in we will go to the
toilet for a final time as we have to fall in to listen to some instructions
and this will also take up around 30 minutes at times. As we will be changing
to out home clothes while in our units (not bmt) so that we can go out
straight from camp or home without being noticed by the public as they can be
gossipers or nosey often. We were then marched out to the gate where it will
sometimes be a long walk and of course we have to water parade before
marching out. And you know bus services serving camps one are usually
crowded, erratic and long intervals. So usually we have to stand in the
crowded bus or at the bus stop waiting. The long wait again will cause the
urge to relieve ourselves again, and what’s worst, traffic jam, so by the
time we reach the MRT station, we will be rushing to the toilets first. There
was once we waited 45 minutes before we could get up the bus as the buses
were crowded. This 45 minutes actually accumulates to around 75 minutes since
we fall out so our toilet desperation is calling us. As we arrived at the bus
interchange, we hurried to the toilet as my friend needed to shit in
desperation, he was already pinching his backside as he shit is already
inches away from touching his underwear. There was a long queue at the toilet
and my Friend attempted to ask the first person in queue if he would allow
him to use the toilet first, all that member of the public could reply was to
tell him that he is urgent everyone else there is also urgent so why can’t he
queue. I was so fed up and asked my friend to run to the nearest toilet at
Lot 1 MacDonald. It was peak hours so the human traffic was actually quite
congested, he ran and with his assault bag and his Jean fell a little,
causing him to expose the back a little showing a little of his underwear,
all the people there could do was to watch, gossip and some even took
pictures. My Friend hurried and by the time he was about 20metres away from
MacDonalds, he stopped and was panting. I asked if he is alright he just
stood still, bend down a little with his hands touching he knees before he
recovers and people were looking and take photos. They took picture of him in
that position doing a “fashion show” as his blue underwear could be seen as
it exploded a little from his pants. He then walked slowly to the bench to
sit and drank some water. He told me that he no need the toilet anymore as he
had already soiled his underwear very badly and it almost soiled his pants
too, while he was running an amount of faeces actually dropped onto his
underwear he stopped just to clear it all out. He then went to toilet to
change to another underwear that was worn days ago.

To talk about sitting in trains, just imagine, if you out doing Long hours of
strenuous training, your hands and legs are tired, would you want a seat in
train as well? Think about it, if you’re shag, and someone else gives up seat
to others and keep on shaming you, how would you feel? You all white collar
workers nowadays are just too pampered, sitting comfortably on a chair till
end of work, would you even understand the work that these army boys and
foreign workers have done? If you do, please be more understanding, if you
don’t, try working 12 hours in a construction site, then you will know how is
it like after all these rigorous work and you require a seat in the train but
others just mock and shame you for that.

After sharing all these experience, my point is that, why the public have to
discriminate or mark others based on their uniform? Like in public, why we
have to mark foreigners or army boys etc. Why is there a need to condemn
people based on their positions or backgrounds? By doing so, we are only
causing unnecessary hate and fear among ourselves. Graciousness is anybody’s
job and its from the heart, it’s not a special job which only specific people
can do.

Hope everyone can understand these group of people, especially army boys, we
are tired and shag to the max after all the rigorous training, and of course
we would also want to enjoy our rides to our destination just like everyone
else, a hassle free ride to relax. Why do you need to criticise and shame an
army boy for sitting in the train and another for soiling his underwear while
giving up seat? You are free to condemn and/or praise anyone, but we can’t do
that due to all the distinctions created by the public! Of course we do
appreciate all the positive comments and praises despite some self
embarrassment at times. It will just motivate us to do better and also tell
others that if one can do it, you can too. Some sacrifice and embarrassment
are worth taking. Put ourselves in their shoes, if one day you are being
shamed by not giving up your seat, how would you feel? And also if you’re
being criticised by doing a kind act like giving up your seat while in
desperation and as a result, you soiled your underwear for this gracious act.
How would you feel? It’s like whether you perform an act of graciousness or
not, you will still be condemned, how would you feel? For people who like to
gossip about others in whatever they do, do some soul-searching and
reflection, if that happens to you, how would you feel? We are all humans!

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