Becor Dabush always knew he wanted to serve in the military.

It took him a while, though, to realize that it was supposed to be in the IDF.

Born in Los Angeles to an Israeli father and American mother, and raised in North Miami Beach, Dabush was a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) – a federal program aimed at motivating teenagers to serve in the military – throughout high school. He subsequently signed a contract committing himself to enlisting in the US Army Rangers upon graduation.

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The summer before his draft, though, Dabush flew to Israel to visit family for the last time before his scheduled deployment at Fort Benning in Georgia for basic training.

“During the vacation I traveled around and met soldiers on buses and trains and started talking to them, and they said that while the military is tough, it’s a brotherhood since we are all Jewish,” Dabush said on Wednesday. “People fight here for a reason: To keep Israel alive. And for me, the US army did not have as much meaning as the Israeli army.”

He returned to the US and fought to get out of his contract to serve in the Rangers. After it was annulled, Dabush boarded a plane back to Israel where he immediately enlisted in the IDF.

He was drafted in February and is currently serving in the Nahal Brigade’s elite Reconnaissance Battalion.

“I always wanted to join the army as a kid,” he said. “I really loved how the army works, how it is serious, there is a framework and how it teaches you to be a leader.”

Not all of Dabush’s friends from JROTC approved of his decision to join the IDF. “I have a lot of friends in the US military, and they do not see things like I do. They don’t see the same point of view that I have,” he said.

Nevertheless, Dabush said he does not regret his decision for a minute, and plans to try-out to become an IDF officer.

“The other soldiers in my unit looked at me a little strange in the beginning and they didn’t understand why I came here, but slowly they began to understand that we are all here for a larger purpose – to defend our country,” he said.

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