Post: Martin Hochster Memorial 755

Military Service: Marine Corps

Member Since: 2019

1.Why did you join the military?

I wanted to see the world. My list of deployments include, two UDP’s (Unit Deployment Phase) to Okinawa including an exercise with Thailand’s marines and one with Australian service members. These were in 1997 and 1999. After 9/11 I was a part of Task Force 76 in Afghanistan, stationed at Bagram, Salero, Organi, and Chester in 2004 and 2005. I returned from Afghanistan in 2005 and Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana that August. At the time I was stationed at NAS/JRB Belle Chasse, which is south of New Orleans and right next to a levee of the Mississippi River. The next nine months were a traumatic time for everyone. In 2007 I did another combat deployment, but this time it was in Iraq.

2. How did you get introduced to JWV?

I learned about JWV from my friend Michael Ross at Torah study

3. What was your most memorable Jewish experience while serving?

Having a Rabbi as our squadron’s Chaplain during my 2004 tour in Afghanistan. I was surprised to see that we had a Rabbi. This made me feel a lot better, as I am usually the only Jewish Marine in my unit.

4. What is an American tradition that makes you the most proud?

Standing up and singing our National Anthem.

5. What is your favorite movie and does it relate with your experience in the military?

The movie 1984. I believe it is a good example of foreshadowing to the current political situation that we are in today.

6. With the rise in popularity of superhero movies, who is your favorite superhero and why?

Agent Coulson of S. H. I. E. L. D., because he is a regular man who helps fight super bad guys and keep the balance of power in check. He’s a good example for our youth.

7. What is your favorite traditional Jewish food?

Falafel with a nice tahini sauce, chopped peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and pickled turnips.