It was previously reported that SHINee‘s Taemin had been transferred to a role as a public service worker in the military due to worsening depression and anxiety. As it is not uncommon for South Korean men to try to evade active duty by feigning illness, it was expected that some members of the public would question the sudden shift of his role despite an official statement from SM Entertainment.
To prevent any misunderstandings, fellow soldiers that personally witnessed Taemin’s army life stepped up and gave their testimonies. They also showed their undying support for his recovery. The news of his transfer was published on Facebook under a popular news page. In the comments, the soldiers gave their word.
I’m someone that was from the same batch as him and lived in the same quarters in the Nonsan Training Center. During basic training, he did bring with him many medicines for depression and I remember that every evening, he would go collect his medicines and eat them. Every time that happened, even if he was suffering, he would show us a bright side of himself as someone older than us dongsaengs, and would even play with us. I heard that he had suffered from this since prior to his enlistment and he was a hyung that always worked hard and hung in there at every training. I hope people won’t criticize him too much.
— Taemin’s Fellow Enlistee
I’m someone that took the same test as Taemin hyung. We lived together for about 2 weeks and he had been receiving medicines for depression and anxiety attacks every day. But even so, he was still suffering. Sleeping pills, sleeping aids, he would take 6 to 8 pills and yet every night, he would often wake up after nightmares. So because it seemed not to be enough, he received additional medicine at night and took them. But even so, he always smiled for his fellow soldiers in the living quarters that were taking the same test as him and even counselled us. Even though he was sick, he was a good hyung that always took care of others more. Lastly, when we parted, he told us to keep our chins up and encouraged us like a kind hyung. He also said that he was afraid that if he left, people would talk. So since he seems to be in pain, I hope you wouldn’t criticize him too much. Thank you.
— Taemin’s Fellow Soldier
Hopefully, with the testimonies from his fellow soldiers, Taemin can rest-assured that the public will not be suspicious of him. We hope he recovers soon!