While ’tis the season to be jolly’, and the majority of people would be having Christmas dinner with their families and loved ones, there is a group of people who don their uniform and go to work, their day has just started.
Everyday, rain or shine, men and women from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Hometeam and Singhealth work tirelessly to safeguard Singapore’s security and safety, and to ensure the rest of the population can celebrate their festive season without worry.Shops and business may come to a standstill, national and civil defense continue to operate as per normal, well, some at a smaller scale.
I have done my fair share of festive duties, and come to think of it, I think I had served all public holidays found on the calendar. Doing duties in godforsaken places can be painfully boring, and your only companion is probably a TV and your partners, sharing gossips and telling stories. Meals served by Singapore Food Industries although not as spectacular as restaurants, they try to be in sync with the holiday (I once had turkey slices during Christmas). I recall during my appointment as planner, some NSF expressed to me their sadness on doing holiday duties, but accepted it as they understand the higher purpose behind it.While those on duty watch the celebrations on TV, or counting down the new year in their offices, they do hope they are with the very someone they love. I guess what got them going is the camaraderie with their colleagues.
Someone has to do it, and unfortunately for some, it will be them. Some volunteer themselves so that their buddies can enjoy parties, delightful candlelight dinner, and in return probably an extra day off. Some risk quarreling with girlfriends for not spending them with them, some simply missing that special someone.
By the time they are out of shift, the party is over.
So this holiday, remember the someone watching over the skies, patrolling the streets or on standby in hospitals, so that you can enjoy your jolly good Christmas. To the families and loved ones whose son, husband or girlfriend is on duty, thank you for your understanding and sacrifices.
And to those on duty, you have our fullest support and respect.