“That’s enough for today Prasun! Stop it!” said Deep, my brother. “I said freeze! Turn around, don’t move!” I quickly responded. I was in elementary school when this happened. I would run around the house playing cops and robbers with my brother and my cousin. My family thought it was “cute” that I wanted to be a cop. They would make fun of me about it just because I was a short and skinny kid. All throughout elementary school I imagined myself driving around New York, running after bad guys, jumping over fences, and arresting the bad guys to make the neighborhood safer. Just the idea of wearing a badge and running around the streets pointing my gun to protect people was exciting. The slogan used by the police, “To Protect and Serve” just had a nice ring to it; it gave me a feeling that I would always be safe. I wanted to be a hero like the other cops were.
Throughout the years I have been repetitively asked the same question, “What are you going to be when you’re older?” And by whom was I asked this question? The whole Indian community, which consists of god knows how many people. Just picture a football field filled with people. Age didn’t really matter to the aunts and uncles, as long as I said I would either be a doctor or an engineer. You may be wondering, why those options? What’s a skinny Indian boy going to be? Obviously since I’m Indian they’re going to think that my future is going to be either in the medical field or go into engineering. My family believes no other field supports the family as much as those fields do. They do not understand the importance of other careers.
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As time went on a change occurred in me. I strayed from the path of becoming a cop, and instead I found my way onto a different path, one of protecting the whole country the military. “Why do you want to join the military Prasun?” my uncle, Dr. Bankim Parikh, asked me multiple times. Though he did not want me to join the military, he didn’t just ramble on about why I should not join the military; instead, he gave specific facts. He somehow managed to always have different facts every time we met, and every time, even if it was for a second he would catch up and ask me if I was still interested in the military. As I nodded to his question he would then continue with his attempt to stray me from the path. At this point I could tell that only my uncle knew I was being serious. Mostly everyone else in my family kept thinking I would grow out of the idea of joining the military. Even my parents didn’t take it too seriously until it was too late. As high school went on, I started to talk more and more about joining the military, started doing more research, requesting information, and the thought of joining the military scared them. They were 100% against the idea of me enlisting into the army. Though they told me that they supported me, I could see their worried faces every time that topic came up.
What exactly do I love about the military? To me, the military is the toughest job: the job that no one wants, the job that is looked down upon. Soldiers go into combat every day. They risk their lives for people they don’t even know, and what do they get in return? A lousy salary? “Oh he’s probably joining the military because he didn’t do well in school.” As a child that comes from a family of two dentists, four doctors, two teacher assistants and two business men, I believe I have a rare opportunity to see the military for what it really is. I believe that the military is something that should be looked upon with the prestige that the title “doctor” receives.
So even after all that, why did I choose to go into Pre-med? I believe that choosing the title of “doctor” will not only please my family, but it will also please me. I love helping people whether it is on the battlefield or if it is in a hospital. Even after I finish studying Pre-med in college, I will still join the military to give back what the soldiers have given me. I too will do my part and hope to inspire people. I too wish to have that level of discipline and selflessness that the soldiers have. Whether people can see it or not, I will always be a Doctor and a Soldier.