Fighting to Serve

Hi Abuela,

I am sorry I have not answered you. I have been quite frankly devastated. My dream of 4 plus years feels crushed and I fought harder than I have in my life. It was an admirable dream. On paper it was perfect. I have experience, a degree, and maturity. They didn’t think I have enough Israeli chutzpah to relate and were afraid that it wouldn’t be enjoyable for me. I fought for myself. I stood up for myself. At least 7 interviews where they told me “no” and I told them yes. Yes I think I can make it. Yes I am capable. Yes I will not give up. At the end of the day… of the few days in this process, I had to move on. I did everything I could. And maybe I wasn’t as fitting for the job in the army as I thought. They told me I was smart and want to help me get a good job. My commander’s commander told me that telling me I couldn’t be in the job is the hardest thing that has happened in her service. She said she hasn’t seen anyone as motivated and persistent as me (all in Hebrew of course). I am proud of that. I am learning to fight for myself.

I am learning to be honest and fight for myself.

It was probably the most challenging thing I have ever had to do. Confrontation after confrontation. Telling them I am capable. They know that I am… just not here.

From this process I have seen a lot of warmth and support. I have received phone calls from loved ones and friends… even people I didn’t know would reach out, they reached out. They told me they were upset, they helped me think of a new fight, they told me they understood how hard it is. I feel loved.

F hosted me two nights ago because she lives closer to my old base. She made me a meal and I watched TV at her house to relax. She tried to cheer me up.

E is taking me to my interview for a job placement on Sunday. I have to be at the meeting at 8:30 am. We will have to drive very early. I will sleep over at his house on Saturday night. I am bringing my resume, a copy of my degree, and a document showing that I passed the highest level of Hebrew in the army. To show them that I am qualified and capable. I will be confident.

At the end of the day I came here to give of myself. To contribute. In Hebrew you say “lit-trom”= to contribute.

I have reached out to at least 11 people- mostly strangers- to hear about their jobs in the army, ask for advice on what I should do, and hear of different job opportunities. That is my determination and nerves at play and my fight still alive. I guess I am a fighter, even if I am not in combat.

I guess it all happens for a reason because it doesn’t make so much sense.

The best thing to do from here is to keep my head up, be optimistic, genuine, and confident. I came here to serve and that is exactly what I will do.

About the Author
Nina is a recent graduate of Binghamton University with a Bachelors of Science in Human Development with a minor in Studio Art. She is passionate about working on and learning about social justice and mental health projects as an advocate and community organizer.
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