Page 9

features volume 30

issue 1

june 6, 2013



graphic by David Gorelik

Students enlist in various armies after South Shelley Friedland & Feli Kuperwasser

Features Editor, Features Reporter


hile many of his current classmates start college in the fall, taking on numerous courses and hectic schedules, senior Max Milliman will be facing a different obstacle: becoming a Marine. “It’s something I’ve always been interested in,” Milliman said. “I feel like it’s the best way to better yourself and to help others … The job I selected is intelligence. So basically, I’ll just be covering every single facet of intelligence in the Marine Corps.” Milliman is only one student who has decided to join a branch of military service after his graduation from South. According to Milliman, military service is about gaining “a sense of self entitlement, a sense of self-conscience [and] a sense of self-improvement.” Other seniors planning to serve in either the U.S. military or the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) after graduation agreed with Milliman. “I’m very Zionist, and I want to protect my country,” senior Tal Grutman, who will be serving in the IDF after he graduates, said. While Israeli citizens are required to serve in the army, Grutman said serving has become somewhat of a tradition in which many people take pride. “My whole family is in Israel, my whole life is in Israel. Almost everybody [serves in the IDF], so it’s considered almost like a rite of passage to serve in the military.” According to Grutman, the Israeli army, while strenuous, builds a sense of community and patriotism. “They say … the army breaks you apart so that they can

build you back the way they want you … to his native country. so they can build you back better,” Grut“I’m excited. I’ve been waiting for man said. a chance my whole life to move back to Guidance counselor Aaron Lewis Israel,” he said. “The army is a really good said that there are many reasons why way for me to integrate myself [back] into people would choose to join the country’s Israeli society because I’ve been here for a army at a young age. long time.” “I think people feel good about According to senior Gali Cohen, serving their country, and they feel ... that who will be serving in the IDF, the biggest the military can give them some direction challenge of joining the army will be movin life,” he said. “They also give good ining away from her family. centives for getting money to go to school, “[I am] scared ... It’s tough leavso if kids want to go back to college, those ing the family behind, but I mean, like, it are good ways to get funding for that. And would be the same if I went to college. I also … it’s a good way for some kids to would still not be living at home; it’s just support themselves.” that now I’m going to the other side of the Senior Stephen Periera, who will serve world,” she said. in the Marines after graduating, said he is Milliman said his family supported looking forward to the opportunity to protect his decision to enlist, and while he will be his country. missed, his rela“[I’m entives just want listing] to serve what is best for my country [and] him. to give them back “They’ve what they have always kind of given to me.” known that I Lewis also was going to said that being in [serve], but now the army can be that it’s really - Tal Grutman, Class of 2013 a very beneficial starting to come experience for true, and really those who serve. start[ing] to take “[Being in the army is] like a job. You’re off, they’re okay with it,” he said. “They just getting paid, you’re getting experience, [and] wanted me to make the right decision.” you’re getting ... a direction [while] serving Cohen said that she has experienced your country. Some people feel really good similar support and even pride from her about it. For some people it’s a life changer, family in response to her decision to join something that they need,” he said. the IDF. Periera said he hopes to get “more “All of [my family members have discipline and strength, [both] personally gone to the IDF]. My brother’s there right and mentally” over the course of his eight now … they all have stories … they’ve all years of active duty and reserve duty in the had different experiences. [My family is] Marines. very proud,” she said. Grutman, who was born in Israel, While all four seniors have received said he is looking forward to moving back respect and support from their family

I want to protect my country ... My whole family is in Israel, my whole life is in Israel.

and friends on their decision to go into the armed forces, none is sure of what the future holds after serving. Periera said he hopes to take college courses both during and after his service. “My plan is to take classes online while I’m serving so that ... I will pay little or no money on loans and stuff. And then after … I’ll go to regular college for two years,” he said. He also said his goal is to one day make it into law enforcement. “[After college] I wanna try and become part of the law enforcement, either FBI or state police,” he said. The length of service is another source of uncertainty, according to Grutman. “If I serve in infantry, I will be there for probably two and a half years. If I get accepted into an elite unit, then they can ask me to sign for anywhere between four and six years,” he said. “If you get into something like really intense, sometimes you can sign forever. Right now I’m keeping my options open, but maybe [I will move back to Israel].” Cohen is also unsure of her plans after the IDF. “I have no idea [of my plans for after the army]. I might stay in Israel and go to college there, I might come back here,” she said. “I have to do two years [in the army]. I’m hoping to become an officer and stay for more, but it really depends what my job is.” Milliman said that while he does not feel ready for college yet, he eventually hopes for a career outside of the military. “After the Marines, I’m probably going to do something in the medical field ... I’d want to be a paramedic or a firefighter EMT,” he said. “It really depends on how my life plays out ... I do want to strive for other goals in life besides just being in the Marines for the rest of my life.”