Skipping college to serve in the IDF

Yanor Yazna and Dafna Voloshin, now serve as weapons instructors in the IDF Golani Brigade, say they have "no regrets" over decision.

March 8, 2010 05:35
1 minute read.
Yanor Yazna.

yanor yazna garin tzabar 311. (photo credit: .)


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“No regrets,” is how Yanor Yazna and Dafna Voloshin, two weapons instructors in the IDF Golani Brigade, summed up their decision to leave their families behind, pass up college in the United States and move to Israel to serve in the military.

The two, who currently serve as instructors for soldiers going through basic training, moved to Israel last year and enlisted into the IDF as part of Garin Tzabar, a military program for the children of expatriate Israelis.

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Yazna, 21, from Orange County, California, was born here and moved to the US at the age of five. After high school, she applied and was accepted to University of California, Berkeley, but decided to pass up studying at the prestigious college to serve in the IDF.

After a four-month course, Yazna was certified as a weapons instructor responsible for teaching new recruits how to operate heavy machine guns.

“People here are very different,” she said Sunday, of her experience when arriving in Israel.

“People here are very used to the army, and we did it by choice. There are a lot of times when I think about what I am doing and realize that teaching soldiers how to shoot is not what your average 19-year-old in the US is doing.”

Voloshin, 20, from Sunnyvale, California, also enlisted into the IDF through Garin Tzabar. Voloshin teaches soldiers how to use special weapons such as the Matador anti-armor shoulder-launched missile developed by Rafael. She, too, passed up college in California to serve in the IDF.

“When I came here I decided I wanted to stay and serve in the army,” she said. “It is a lot of fun and I would have never been able to do any of this had I not come to serve in the army.”

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