TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Before they go to college, some high school grads take time off to explore other things.
18 year old Madyssen Zarin is headed for a real adventure---two years in Israel, including a two year hitch in the Israeli Defense Force.
At Tucson International friends gave Madyssen Zarin a send-off for an adventure, and a commitment.
She went to Israel, where she will be much more than a tourist.
She grew up active in Tucson's Jewish community. Now she will be joining the Israeli Defense Forces. We asked, why not join the US armed forces?
"I want a chance to defend my country, yes, America's my country as well but I feel like as a Jewish person, many people tend to think that Israel is a fall back state just in case something were to happen there's a Jewish homeland. I don't feel that I can claim that as mine unless I'm willing to help out and put in the work."
Asked about the possible danger, she says in the Israeli Army women often train other soldiers. This video from the Israeli Defense Force shows that's still not just a day at the office.
An organization called Nefesh B'Nefesh helps people like Madyssen Zarin move to Israel and become Israeli citizens.
After two years as an Israeli soldier Madyssen Zarin says she'll probably go to college in Israel but she may want to stay in the Army.
“She says, “It's potentially dangerous everywhere and to live in your room in a bubble is no way to live and also if it is dangerous why can I expect someone else to be there protecting me if I'm not willing to go out and protect everyone else as well."