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Story of a true soldier: Even terrorists couldn’t kill his spirit

The incident resulted in a hundred percent disability to the jawan and he could not continue in the army.

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Story of a true soldier: Even terrorists couldn’t kill his spirit
Kuldeep Singh
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At an age when most youths start their career, this army jawan fought off terrorists even after receiving major injuries in a grenade attack. The incident resulted in a hundred percent disability to the jawan and he could not continue in the army. However, the motto - a soldier can die but never give up - enabled him to pick himself up in stark times and flourish once again.

The incident is of the year 2005 when 26-year-old Grenadier Kuldeep Singh of the 20 Grenadiers/ 55 Rashtriya Rifles was in Pulwama in South Kashmir. The unit received intel about location of terrorists in a village.

But what started as yet another night of duty in the Kashmir valley turned out to be a night which changed his life forever. Singh was operating as a member of the Quick Reaction Team of his unit, a bunch of hand picked soldiers to react first in case of some information.

“I was part of the Quick Reaction Team and we reached the house where the terrorists were holding. One terrorist saw us and threw a grenade which burst and parts of the grenade hit me in the neck, hands and legs. The operation lasted for over an hour and we neutralized five terrorists,” Kuldeep remembers.“I did not realise that my wounds were so bad and we completed the operation. I was taken to Army Hospital at Srinagar, following which, I was shifted to base hospital in Delhi where my treatment continued for over a year,” he added.

During that one year Kuldeep gave up hope. “It is not easy to tell of the mental condition of a 26-year- old youth who was fit just a few days back and had huge dreams for himself and family but suddenly has been hit by disability. I had lost all hopes to live as my dreams were shattered. I remember lying in the hospital bed amidst negative thoughts and this went on for several days,” Singh says.

Kuldeep’s father - a former army jawan - lifted his spirit in those trying times. “My father asked me to look around and observe. There were fellow brothers around me whose injuries were worse than mine but none of them left smiling. It was then that I decided that I will not give up and will fight life itself. I am a soldier, a soldier can die but never give up,” Singh says with a twinkle in his eyes.

“After the treatment ended, I realized that I could overcome my weakness through education. It then enrolled and completed my graduation and applied for a government job. Now, I am an LDC and inspite of my disability,” he said, further adding, “I received a full pension from the Army and my current job is also due to the Army. The government has also supported me. My family never allowed me to pity myself . I would like to appeal to the youngsters that no matter how bad the times may be, there is no reason for you to give in.”

Never Give Up

The incident resulted in a hundred percent disability to the jawan and he could not continue in the army. 
However, the motto - a soldier can die but never give up - enabled him to pick himself up in stark times and flourish once again. 

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