Young Thai Man has a Heart Attack during the Draft

April 9, 2015


This is probably the worse time of year for any Thai men aged between 21 and 30. If they hadn’t attended cadet training during high school, they need to report to their district office for the draft. Here they are given a medical check-up to make sure that they are healthy. It’s a lengthy process as there are many men reporting for the draft. Each year the armed forces need at least 90,000 new conscripts. After quite a few hours, those who are deemed fit for service join the line to pick a card from a box. The card has either a red or black stamp on it. A red card means they have to join one of the armed forces for two years. A black card means they can continue with their life as normal.

Unfortunately for this young man from Nakhon Ratchasima, he had a heart attack after he had reported for the draft. Medics tried to revive him but he sadly passed away. It is sad that serving in the Thai army gives people such nightmares that they literally die at the thought of being conscripted. Why is it so bad? What happens to the conscripts in the army?

UPDATED: The original story in Khao Sod said he had a heart attack AFTER he had picked the red card. Other media now reporting that he had the heart attack during his medical check-up and BEFORE he was due to pick the coloured card.

8 Responses to Young Thai Man has a Heart Attack during the Draft

  1. April 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Having to serve in the south and being forced to rely on fake bomb detectors might give a lot of recruits a lot of stress.

  2. ECP
    April 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Making some outrageous assumptions.Any chance kid had a medical condition or just ignoring the obvious?

    • Richard Barrow
      April 9, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Not really. On the day of the draft, the young men receive a medical check-up. If they are not healthy they don’t have to pick the coloured card. In addition, prior to draft day, if they have a pre-exisiting medical condition, all they need to do is show the medical certificate and they will be exempt. Witnesses said this young man literally died from shock. Of course, we won’t know the full story unless there is an autopsy.

  3. Richard Barrow
    April 9, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    There is an interesting Bangkok Post article (see here) on conscription. Interestly they interviewed several people who said they benefited from the experience.

  4. Thai
    April 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Is there an alternative way to legally avoid being drafted such as studying overseas?

    • Richard Barrow
      April 9, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      You can put it off for various reasons. That is one. But you still have to report when you finish your studies. I believe if you become a teacher then you don’t need to report.

  5. Brian
    April 10, 2015 at 11:16 am

    What a tragedy , my heart bleeds for the family of this poor boy . May God rest his soul , may he rest in peace .

  6. David
    April 10, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Sad to hear about this.
    Wonder what would happen if they joined the U.S. Marine Corps at age 16 as I did. Truth be told I much preferred it to being with my step-mother who obtained a false birth certificate. It was the first time in my life that I had been treated fairly.

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