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Stars Stripes

Indian Career-oriented Indian Americans head for IT or the medical profession, don't they? Not always. ostyoung Indian Americans don't answer the call to join the military. Many of their parents don't consider such a career a "good option" for their children and, unsurprisngly, there are low numbers of Indian Americans in U.S. armed forces. Yet some Indian American families have had to come to terms with changing interests. Jimmy Paul is unlike most Indian Americans his age. "All parents see is the fact that a career in the armed forces is not the stereotypical doctor, engineer jobs that they hope for their children," says Paul, a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. Paul says his parents did not know that he had joined the Marine Corps till it was almost time for him to report to boot camp. "They were extremely shocked and taken aback. They could not believe that T would go and do such a thing without first consulting with them." But no matter how much they protested, Paul's parents knew that it was too late. "Now after serving my country for four years they realize it was the right decision for me," he says. "Now my parents would recruit for the Marine Corps if they could!" As a young man growing up in India, Paul's father was keen to join the Indian Army. Dr. Panavelil Paul was on the verge of enlisting before a successful attempt in a medical college entrance examination drew him to a career in medicine. "For us it's just another career," says Dr. Paul, a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland. For Biren Oberoi of Alpharetta, Georgia, a career in the Air Force was more than just another job. "It's his way of saying thank you to America for the opportunities this country has given him," explains his mother Madhu. Biren was a young boy when his family decided to move from New Delhi to Georgia. A pilot flying KCIOs-the Air Force's refueling aircraftFirst Lieutenant Biren Oberoi was commissioned in 2000, soon after graduating as a mechanical engineer from Georgia Tech. "Our friends often remark that a career in the armed forces is a

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Above right: Binyamin Qamruzzaman joined the Marines because it was "the hardest force. " Right: Air Force Captain Varun Puri teaches aspiring pilots to fly the F-15E, or Strike Eagle, in North Carolina.

Profile for SPAN magazine

SPAN: July/August 2003  

An American Gharana?; Digital Railroad to Fly; Think Tanks & U.S. Foreign Policy; Can Economic Diplomacy in South Asia Work?; Muscle & Magic...

SPAN: July/August 2003  

An American Gharana?; Digital Railroad to Fly; Think Tanks & U.S. Foreign Policy; Can Economic Diplomacy in South Asia Work?; Muscle & Magic...

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