Dad: He never caused us stress

By Olivia Ho

THE last memory that Ms Edith Ee has of her brother is eating together at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

"It was a Sunday afternoon and we were just talking about normal things," recalled Ms Ee, 32, a chemical analyst. It turned out to be their last meal together.

The following Tuesday, on Aug 2, Specialist Cadet Ee Chun Sheng, 21, was found unconscious during a navigation exercise in the jungles of Lim Chu Kang.

That night, he was pronounced dead.

The youngest of four children, he has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Third Sergeant.

When asked what she would have told Sgt Ee had she known it would be their last meeting, Ms Ee said: "I'd want him to know he will always be our beloved younger brother."

Family, friends, army colleagues and officers have been gathering at Sgt Ee's wake at Towner Road to pay their respects to the former Singapore Polytechnic student.

The aeronautical engineering diploma holder was an avid cyclist and musician. According to his sister, he took part in a 40km race in the OCBC Cycle event in March.

Sgt Ee had also played the trombone since primary school,and was the former band major in the symphonic band of his alma mater, Xinmin Secondary School.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) full-time national serviceman (NSF) was found unconscious at about 5.11pm at AmaKengTraining Area.

He underwent resuscitation on-site by an SAF medic at about 5.15pm, and was later evacuated to Tengah Air Base Medical Centre, arriving at about 5.39pm,where he was attended to by an SAF doctor.

He was then sent via ambulance to the National University Hospital at 6.05pm and arrived at 6.32pm.

The SAF doctor and medic continued to resuscitate him en route to the hospital. He was pronounced dead at 9.03pm.

The New Paper understands that the death certificate had indicated that he died from "cardio-respiratory failure, pending further investigations".

As far as his father, Mr Ee Park Nan, is concerned, Sgt Ee was a perfect son.

"My son had no flaws," said the 65-year-old framemaker.

"He was a responsible and very kind boy who never caused his parents stress."

Trainee pilot

Mr Ee said his son was selected to become a Republic of Singapore Air Force trainee pilot at the end of last year and was training in Perth, Australia.

But he did not make the cut and returned to Singapore after a few weeks, where he was then sent to the Specialist Cadet School to train to become a reconnaissance specialist.

Ms Ee described her brother as a "sensible kid" who never denied anyone help.

Whenever his old band had a performance coming up, his ex-teachers could always count on him coming back to lend a hand at band practices.

In a tribute to him, the school's 40-man alumni band will be playing six pieces tonight at the wake, including Seiko Matsuda's Sweet Memories.

An alumni band member told the New Paper that the Japanese song was Sgt Ee's favourite band piece.

The SAF is assisting the family in their time of grief and is investigating the incident. A military funeral has been planned for Sgt Ee, who will be cremated at the Mandai Crematorium at3pmon Saturday.

Following Sgt Ee's death, the SAF suspended field training in all its army units and training schools for a day on Wednesday.

During the time-out,army commanders"re-emphasised training safety to their servicemen", said the Ministry of Defence in a statement on Wednesday night.

This article was first published in The New Paper.