“The guns, thank GOD, the guns...” I borrow this Rudyard Kipling’s quote from the Gunners Club. I am really thankful to GOD and the guns. Today is the end of my fireplan HUKM Phase 2. I took the last fire mission personally. ZU1011. All guns firing with their barrels blazing hot. I observed full impacts on the target. I did not see any enemy surrender. The enemy will not surrender, they will try to hide to fight another day. I will not take prisoners. The rules of engagement in this front is unlike any conventional warfare. Kill or be killed. My enemy engaged me at the wrong front. The enemy underestimated me and he will pay for his mistake. I will not spare any quarters.
Phase 2 comprising 12 more fire missions took its toll on me and almost did me in. I could barely sustain Phase 1 with 20 fire missions. A total of 32 fire missions are a lot to take. I am glad that I am graded FE at my last PULHEEMS test. I am fairly fit before the fireplan. Others fighting in the same front with me, were in a worser shape than me. One had to do a modification and was stopped in the middle of her fireplan and she was evacuated to the base hospital. My whole terrain is drenched dry and the most sensitive point was closed for operation. I literally could not do my daily business in the morning and night. The pain I endure in each trip to the field toilet is indescribable. The torn and cut areas in between my legs caused by the rubbers of my running shorts would not heal as quickly as I would like them. I will have to continue to walk like a pregnant penguin for the next two weeks. I also have prickly heat pin pokes all over my terrain. I cannot apply any soap, lotions, creams or medications, as the radiation retained in my terrain will not subside for the next two weeks. My body radiates out heat and aches, I have short stressed spells of head spins and nauseas. Otherwise I am fine.
I was given medical leave for 6 weeks before I report to HUKM again. The CO of Oncology Regiment told me that all was well with my fireplan. However it will take up to 6 weeks before full intelligence and operational reports can be collected and collated.
I thank the HUKM personnel for standing by me daily. They had stood by me, and others with full dedication to duty and professionalism. They had no fear of the hazards in the frontline, nor were they affected physiologically by the daily interactions with combatants like me. And I admit that most others are really non- combatants and they had fear and despair in their eyes. Most untrained and unprofessional personnel will need constant counseling when facing such traumas on a daily basis. I salute the present HUKM staff doing their job. I will be glad to share each and every one of my medals with them. They had earned it as well. I brought a nice cake and some biscuits to celebrate my victory with them and my fellow frontliners. They appreciated my camaraderie.
I must thank my wife Peggy, for standing by me and my family. She deserves the KPK medal, a medal my brother John Lai received whilst in service many years ago. He described the KPK medal as 'just short of the PGB medal' as his bravery was not in the face of the enemy.
Finally I wish to thank you, my family members, friends and everybody else who had offered prayers and thoughts for me. A big thank you.