It is heartening to note that what I had written in my blog had affected the lives of many readers - in a positive way. I had wanted to make sure the exploits of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers are not forgotten and buried. They had played an important role in helping the Commonwealth forces in the war against the Communist Terrorists as trackers.
In the 12 years of fighting (1948 - 1960), 20 of them were killed in actions and another 25 wounded. One of them, Awang ak. Rawing earned the only George Cross awarded in the Malayan Emergency, a civilian version of the Victoria Cross.
It had been their brave exploits that had affected my life. I vowed to be a soldier. I got my wish granted and became a Ranger myself. I tried to emuliate them and in the process had fought many battles with the Communist Terrorists in the 70s and 80s both in Malaya and Sarawak. On 11 October 1973, I attacked one of their camps in Kuching. I was awarded a Panglima Gagah Berani, an equivalent of a Military Cross of the British Army.
Since I embarked on Op Ngerapuh, now Op Mai Pulai in 2008, I had received many calls of encouragement and gratitude from fellow Sarawakians. Their feeling of gratitude had been my rewards. Now that this project is nearing completion, invited or not, I will witness the reburials of these brave men who had sacrificed their lives for this nation of ours.
A few days ago, one of the Ibans working with Petronas Carigali in Iraq had told me that he had been inspired by the exploits of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers that he had read in my blog. He took the challenge to work in Iraq, which was then at war. Their base had been bombarded with rockets and mortar fire every night. It was the spirit of his Iban forefathers that had kept him strong.
He read of my exploits too in my blog and had just ordered 3 of my biography, My Adventures, which I have just couriered to him in Iraq this morning.