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The Army can change a man (3)
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11:37, July 05, 2007

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"I told him that to gain respect from other people he had to make some achievements on his own, and that as a soldier, he should master all the skills needed in the army," Hao said.

"My life had been pretty aimless up to that point but Hao''s words galvanized me and I suddenly knew what I had to do," Sun said.

He began to practise chin-ups, running and shooting, carrying on even when the other soldiers were resting.

"I lay on my stomach one day for hours to practise taking aim," he said.

He found that he no longer had any time to brood over his diary and no time to waste money.

Sun''s efforts have paid off. He took first place in a battle endurance competition in his brigade of more than 2,000 soldiers this March and came in number three in the soldiers'' all-round skills competition in May.

Squad leader Hao had been transferred to the brigade headquarters and said he almost fell over when he heard the news of Sun''s transformation.

"Boy, has he changed!" grinned Hao. "It is very gratifying".

Sun''s parents originally signed him for a two-year term and, in his first few months in the barracks, he couldn''t wait to leave. But now his aim is to become a sergeant and to make the Army his career.

"I love the army and want to gain more experience here," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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