At 18 years old, the average Hillsdale freshman is typically worrying about Western Heritage, getting enough sleep, and gaining 15 pounds. But when freshman Shavit Rootman was 18 years old, he was memorizing Arabic, sleeping in the sand, and carrying a 30-pound machine gun.
“The first time you see combat is always the hardest time,” Rootman said. “But I think the training takes over. You just become robotic about it. You don’t think too much about it, especially when you’re 19 or 20.”