When you think of serving in the military, what comes to mind would probably be the harsh physical training, the many days spent in the wilderness, but also the glory that comes with attaining ranks.
Others think that you are very well-paid.
Even the army thinks so ("Enjoy financial independence, whilst maintaining your lifestyle, whatever that may be").
What is usually overlooked are the sacrifices made by your family and friends when they have to adapt and accommodate someone in their lives who gives themselves up to a higher calling.
Earlier this week, the crew of RSS Tenacious were sent off by their friends and family as they set sail for the Gulf of Aden. Their mission, which will last three months, is to ensure the freedom of navigation and safety of shipping in the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf.
The crew, in the Chief of Navy's words, "step forward and serve" by volunteering for this important and risky mission.
From the photographs posted on the Singapore Navy's Facebook page, one cannot help but feel thankful for the sacrifices made by the Navy's brave men and women to be away from their family and friends for three long months.
To these service men and women, as well as their families, they deserve nothing but the utmost respect from the rest of us. The tears of families longing for their loved ones is the price we pay for our safety and sovereignty. Here are some of the photographs of the touching farewell:
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Photographs from Republic of Singapore Navy Facebook page.