When Abdul Kadir Deraman, 59, enlisted in the army at a tender age of 18 he never thought he would stop serving King and Country ten years later.
“We’re on a search and destroy mission in Lundu, Sarawak when all of a sudden a huge log fell down and hit me and some of my buddies,” said the retired corporal. The log struck his back and injured his spine.
Due to the injury, Abdul Kadir was left in coma for two weeks and was warded at the Kuching General Hospital for a few months. His spinal cord was damaged resulting in him spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Now, after much help and support from his family, especially his loving wife, Abdul Kadir is feeling better.
Ipoh Echo met Abdul Kadir and his family along with 84 retired soldiers at an army-sponsored event honouring the walking wounded at the Ipoh Town Hall on Tuesday, October 13. Commander 2nd Malaysian Infantry Brigade, Brigadier-General Mas’od Haji Muhammad, paid tribute to the injured soldiers who had served the nation with pride and dignity in spite of their injuries.
“No amount of money could ever repay what you have sacrificed for the country. Thanks so much for your dedication!” said Mas’od in his opening remarks to the injured former servicemen. He then went from table to table greeting each veteran and handing them RM500 as cash hand-out courtesy of the Armed Forces Warriors’ Fund.
“I’ve been attending this event annually as it provides an opportunity to meet and catch up with my old mates,” said Abdul Kadir.
When asked for his advice to youths wishing to join the army, the veteran replied that only those who were keen on serving King and Country should join.
“You must have the passion and the interest. These are the factors that’ll drive and prompt one to endure hardships while undergoing training,” he said. “Look, in spite of my injuries I’ve never once regretted joining the army.”