The Reserve Force unit, Regiment Oranjerivier (ROR), showed its community spiritedness side when it recently made a Rooikat and crew available to fulfil a dream for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Major JP Wessels, acting Officer Commanding of the regiment headquartered at Fort Ikapa, was asked by the Reach for a Dream Foundation if it would be possible to arrange a ride on a Rooikat for Marius (nine) and his brother Caleb (six).
The major acceded and also roped in some of the other Reserve Force units using Fort Ikapa as headquarters to make a memorable day for the youngsters.
Welcomed to the base by Wessels, regimental sergeant major Master Warrant Officer Karel Minnie, Lieutenant Amanda Goli and a group of ROR soldiers, the boys and their parents, Guillaume and Joanne, next heard the rumbling roar of a Rooikat and then saw the fighting vehicle.
“Astonishment, disbelief and delight was their reaction when they heard they would be allowed to ride in the Rooikat,” said Western Cape Reserve Force communications specialist Regine Lord.
After seeing the entire base from their perch on the turret of the fighting vehicle the boys were taken to ROR headquarters as well as that of the Cape Town Rifles (The Dukes) and 3 Parachute Battalion’s C Company.
At The dukes they heard all about the infantry from Lieutenant Matthew Ndzena including what the infantry carries with it in terms of ammunition, food, water, shelter and radios.
A similar demonstration was given at 3 Para with the emphasis definitely on these air-dropped specialist soldiers and their equipment.
“No doubt, Marius and Caleb will remember the exhilaration of riding on a Rooikat for a long time. Perhaps, when they encounter challenges and difficulties, they will draw on the strength on the Rooikat and the fighting spirit of the men and women of ROR to motivate them to overcome obstacles,” Lord said.