Monday, July 6, 2009

Parents grieve death of NSman

As a parent myself, I feel for the loss of their son while in NS. We sometimes live in fairy land and keep hoping that nothing will happen to our son while in NS. Was the loss of a life worth it? For nation and for county blah blah....

Parents grieve death
Family has questions; Mindef says incident still being investigated
By Kimberly Spykerman
Nicholas Chan Wei Kit was killed when an army land rover rolled back, pinning him underneath. -- PHOTO: MINDEF

HE WAS their only child. And the parents of Second Lieutenant Nicholas Chan Wei Kit, 21, are still unable to believe their son is gone after his sudden death last Friday afternoon at Seletar Camp, in which an army land rover rolled back, pinning him underneath.

A recovery vehicle was dispatched, although the Defence Ministry did not say how soon after the accident, to lift the vehicle off him. But 2LT Chan died in hospital of his injuries - a little more than an hour after he took over the vehicle.

His mother, a housewife, received a call at their flat in Bukit Batok, telling her that 'something had happened' to her son, and that he was in hospital. Together with her husband, an engineer, they rushed down. But by the time they got there, it was too late.

The family is still questioning what led to 2LT Chan's death. After all, he had been on military trips to Brunei and Taiwan, and had always returned safely.

His mother said she is still too distraught to probe much into the details of her son's death.

But one thing they want to know is whether any other military personnel were with their son at the time of the incident. The family said Mindef has told them that it cannot reveal this now as the matter is still under investigation.

What little they know is that 2LT Chan - a newly commissioned officer - was a Motor Transport Officer based in Jurong Camp. He had gone to the Seletar camp that day to collect the vehicle.

It is also not known if he was alone at the time but his mother said he could not have gone to collect the vehicle alone because he did not have a driving licence.

In between sobs, she said that her son would come back almost every night to the family home to have dinner before heading back to camp. She had been expecting him as usual last Friday evening - but he never showed up.

2LT Chan's cousins described him as a 'happy-go-lucky' and 'playful' person, with a keen eye for fashion. He had a passion for clothes, they said, and even chose to specialise in retail management as a student at Temasek Polytechnic.

Close friends also called him a 'cheeky and happy' man. Said his former Basic Military Training platoon mate Audi Khalid, 21: 'He was the life of the platoon.'

Please read the full story in Monday's edition of The Straits Times.

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