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Las Vegas woman joins the Israeli Defense Forces

Leaving behind your possessions to fight for your convictions.. a local 22 year old preps to leave Vegas & join IDF

At 22, a local college graduate is getting ready to embark on a journey that will take her halfway across the world and put her directly into danger’s face.

Niah Anson is from Las Vegas and recently graduated from Lake Forest College in Illinois with a degree in international relations. She’s decided to join Israel’s Army.

She said it’s something she’s wanted to do since high school when she was there for a semester.

The big question is, how do you pack for two years of your life? She said, “I get three suitcases, which is very exciting.”

It’s two years of the unknown.

“I don’t really know how to prepare myself because I don’t know what I’ll be doing,” she said.

What Niah does know is that she’ll be ten hours ahead and a world away from home.

“I’m excited to be a part of it, I’m ready to be a part of it. I’m ready to help and ready to serve. The danger doesn’t scare me off, it pulls me in," she said.

Niah is now part of The Israel Defense Forces, IDF.

“I knew I would really regret if I didn’t do it,” she said.

In a country where service is mandatory for all 18-year-old’s. Niah said after completing a semester there as a high school student, she felt a calling to give back.

She said, “I found so much growth in that semester being surrounded by the Jewish community and within Israel that I really feel like I need to return that favor.”

It’s a decision she hasn’t taken lightly. While in college at Lake Forest, Niah worked at the Israeli Consulate in Chicago and represented and spoke at the World Jewish Congress at the UN Humanitarian Rights Council. She also spent time brushing up on her Hebrew.

“It wasn’t offered at school the past four years, so it’s really been a process of teaching myself and having that focus and dedication to learn it," she said.

Niah said she doesn’t come from a family with a military background. In fact, both her parents are physicians.

“It was a process to get them on board," she said.

Now, they’re excited for her but understandably concerned over the dangers.

For Niah, she said this is her purpose. “This is really where my path was supposed to lead to.”

Niah leaves on Sunday to embark on this new adventure with tokens from home in her three bags. “Little memories that are on one piece of paper so it doesn’t take up too much room.”

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