Ratu Peni Tuidrokadroka left Naduri village in Macuata with the ultimate blessing any child could seek before embarking on something new – and that was from his father.
Ratu Peni was joining the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Basic Recruit Course which held their passout parade last week in Suva.
Ratu Peni is the second youngest of six.
Joining the RFMF was a way Tu Peni thought he could support his family with especially with his parents getting on in their years.
Into the 11th week of training, Tu Peni received the news his father had passed away. And to add to the blow, it was his father’s wish that Tu Peni continue with his military training and not return to the village for his burial.
‘It was hard but I knew this was what he wanted. That I honor his sacrifice and hard work this way, by continuing on.”
At the passout parade, his mum Evi was in tears watching her son in the ensemble.
“I hadn’t seen her since my father passed away so seeing her at the passout parade meant so much to me.”
Tu Peni was among the 116 young soldiers who successfully completed the 3 month course.