Singaporeans should continue to show support for servicemen: President
Madam Halimah Yacob makes first official visit to SAF unit
It is important that Singaporeans continue to show support for national servicemen given that they form the backbone of national service, said President Halimah Yacob yesterday.
NS is, in turn, the bedrock of our national defence that allows for the Republic's survival, success and security, she added.
As the mother of two sons who have done NS, Madam Halimah said she has seen them grow and this, along with the efforts of other servicemen, has helped boost the country's defence, as well as society.
She was speaking at the end of a visit to the Basic Military Training Centre on Pulau Tekong - her first official trip to a Singapore Armed Forces unit since taking office last September.
"I am here to underscore the importance of NS, and to rally support for NS, as well as (for) our servicemen," she said.
Madam Halimah witnessed a company of more than 200 recruits taking part in close combat training, and interacted with some of those who were doing SAR 21 weapon-handling drills.
She said she could attest to the fact that NS contributed towards her two sons' growth and development.
She had said at a grassroots event last May that her older son, who turns 35 this year, found out he had a hearing impairment after NS, with the doctor citing his stint as a probable cause.
Madam Halimah said then that she was concerned but her sons "still need to fulfil their duty to the nation, and they cannot let down their colleagues".
Yesterday, she said: "I am sure that many parents will also feel the same, seeing how their sons have been transformed, how their sons have grown and have developed, which is not only of benefit to our defence, but also to society as a whole, and also to themselves and their families."
Madam Halimah also toured the National Service Gallery, which was opened during the launch of celebrations marking 50 years of NS last year.