Friday, April 27, 2007

A Soldier's Sad Tale...

Here's a tragic tale of a brave Malaysian soldier, Mohammad, seen in the left picture receiving his commission from the Malaysian king.. He was (and still is) a close buddy of mine and when he signed up as an officer we had known each other for over 8 years.

As buddies, I stayed in his kampung hut for a few days, sleeping on a rattan mat which was placed on the wooden floor and sharing meals with his whole family of 8... Then there were happy visits to each other's homes on various occasions such as Hari Raya and Christmas. These great memorable times ended when he enlisted in the army.

In the 1970s the communist terrorists were still a formidable fighting force and both sides suffered heavy losses in their jungle warfare, particularly in Perak.

My buddy spoke of horrific occasions of barbaric cruelty committed by both sides and the horrors of booby traps utilized by all. He led men into firefights. He had to shoot to kill.

From the calm strong eldest boy in the family, he appeared to be a mere shadow of himself whenever I visited him during his R & R days... He was gradually losing faith in humanity... and eventually, the hero left the army, settled down as a civilian and attempted to rebuild his life with little success and much difficulty ... even though a lot of us old buddies have aided him financially on a number of occasions ... So we'll keep praying for him.

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