I write this entry in response to Cik Faye’s request, through a comment in my entry, click here, that I tell what I went through when my husband was busy flying the Nuri in the communist- infested jungles during the insurgency era. Unlike my husband who seems to thrive on history, I don’t particularly enjoy dwelling on past events for it would inevitably evoke memories, both pleasant AND unpleasant alike. When I write, more often than not, I get carried away, sometimes spilling more than I should. But, it is only proper that I tell both, the good and the bad. Apart from having to fend off the constant worries each time he flew into the jungles, there were other areas that we, as wives, had to deal with.
My association with the Air Force began in the mid 70’s when I finally joined my husband in Kuantan after completing my studies at UPM. I also started my teaching career here at Sekolah Menengah Abdul Rahman Talib, SMART for short. It was not easy being a teacher but it was tougher being a wife, a MILITARY wife, to be precise. I was not familiar with the ranking structure but I soon discovered that I, too, held the same rank as my husband. It was exciting until I realised that there were many others who held higher ranks than me. While many of these wives were nice and friendly and mingled freely regardless of their husbands’ ranks, there was not a shortage of those pompous ones, who flaunted their power without guilt or shame.
As wives, we were automatically absorbed as members of the “Wives Club” with the Base Commander’s wife acting as president. Activities were organised and members participation was COMPULSORY. While it was undeniably nobel trying to divert our worries by keeping ourselves busy and occupied with the activities organised, it became increasingly difficult for ME to keep pace with the demands of having to juggle between career and social obligation as a military wife. I played truant many times and for that, my poor husband was summoned by his boss, many times also, to explain for my poor conduct. Such was the influence and power of the Wives Club which later became known as BAKAT. It seemed terribly unfair and inappropriate to me, at that time, that my husband had to answer for MY misdeeds until I had a taste of being at the helm much later, by a twist of fate, not by virtue of being a Base Commander’s wife. My husband, in all his 25 years service, NEVER made it as a lieutenant-colonel, let alone a Base Commnder.
To be continued……….,