- When and why did you serve in the military?
Back in 1993 I was twenty years old, working full-time as a cashier in a major supermarket while also going to school full-time. When I lost my job, I lost my means to pay for my education. So, I set out to find my next work opportunity. I happened upon a recruiting office for the New Jersey Army National Guard, already somewhat aware of the monetary benefits. Three days later I was swearing in. I left for Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, SC two months after that, followed by Advanced Individual Training in Fort Gordon, GA. The lifestyle fit me so well that when I became eligible, I transferred into the Regular Army, never looking back.
- How did you get introduced to JWV?
When I was stationed at Ft Monmouth, NJ, someone made me aware. I don’t remember the conversation or circumstances.
- What is a program that JWV offers, in which you would like to be more involved with, and why?
I am definitely focusing my time on increasing membership. I’m using my platform to improve relations with the local JROTC programs, supporting the US Navy Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Training Division NAS Richmond, and advertising with social media and actual shaking hands with folks.
- What is an American tradition that makes you the proudest?
Seeing our National Colors flying in the local communities, where it is not a requirement but a choice.
- What is the best military Jewish holiday story you got?
Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, 2007. As the Jewish Lay Leader, my Company Commander was able to secure everything we needed for Passover services, including some Manischewitz. He led the seder, we all embraced the significance of the moment, and finished off the wine.
- What is your favorite movie about the military? Did it relate with your experience in the military?
I don’t have a “favorite” military movie, I don’t enjoy them as I once did. But the last military movie I watched was American Sniper, and it was pretty spot on. Definitely relatable to my time in Iraq.
- What song gets you pumped up for a work out?
My workout playlist contains Chevelle, System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold, a few others. Depending on what exercise I’m about to perform determines how much motivation I really need.
Volume 72. Number 3. Fall 2018