Budding fashion writer gives it all up for a year in Israel.
By SIMONA KOGANSoldiers
Not a day in Israel goes by when I don't see those green fatigues, those brown, muddy boots, the M-16s on their backsides. They lurk at every bus stop, on every street corner, lugging huge green duffel bags and wry grins. Chayalim (Israeli soldiers) are as common in Israel as kosher meat in the supermarket. They are a part of the Israeli way of life and the Israeli mentality. Every Israeli knows when they finish high school, they won't be going to college or finding a job. They'll be going to the army.
As an American, I never had to deal with these issues. The idea that I might be pressured into a situation where I'd have to decide whether or not I'd jump from a plane or shoot somebody never crossed my mind. I never realized how fortunate I was not to have to deal with the possibility of combat shock until I came here and saw these 18 to 22-year-olds fighting and dying for the country because that's what they were told to do.
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