“Even though I am not proud of myself, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all the fans who made time and efforts to share this moment with me…”

These were the first words in T.O.P.’s post on Instagram appreciating the VIPs (BIGBANG’s fandom) who have been his source of strength while he was finishing his military service.

The BIGBANG member, who first started his mandatory enlistment as a police officer in February 2017, has already been discharged last July 6, Saturday.

While on service, the 31-year-old K-pop superstar got convicted for drug use, causing him to be kicked out of the police force. This news came around four months since he enlisted.

He continued the rest of his mandatory military service through an alternative method — that is by working as a public service worker at a cultural facility in Yongsan. He began this phase of his enlistment in January last year.

Choi Seung Hyun in real life, the rapper-turned-actor stressed out in his post that he “will make sure to reflect on [himself] and repay the hurts and disappointments” he has caused to his loyal following.

After saying thanks once again, he concluded the short yet meaningful post with “Until I see you again,” providing a glint of hope to his fans that he will return with a new renewed spirit to continue giving entertainment and inspiration through his music.

Upon T.O.P.’s discharge on Saturday, he went straight to a bunch of VIPs who were gathered in a “secret meeting place,” away from the point where members of the press waited for his arrival. He wore a bright smile and did handshakes as a gift to his fans, who planned how they will welcome their idol without causing attention from the media.

YG Entertainment, his agency, has previously said that T.O.P. wanted to be discharged quietly from his alternative military service.

His fans’ support also took over the web days ahead of his discharge as the hashtag “LongTimeNoSeeTOP” and his real name “Choi Seung Hyun” trended on the social media platform, Twitter.

With his release, T.O.P. becomes the first member of BIGBANG to complete South Korea’s mandatory military enlistment. G-Dragon began his service in February last year, while Daesung and Taeyang followed in March.

Seungri has previously announced his departure from the group and retirement from the industry following the “Burning Sun” scandal.

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