From India to the “Valley” Squadron

“I told my father: I don’t know how or when, but I want to live in Israel” From the Far East to the “Big Apple” and to the state of Israel: Private Maya Sudit from the “Valley” squadron went through a lot before joining the IAF. She was born in India, moved to New-York and finally decided to draft to the IDF

Shachar Zorani | Translation: Eden Sharon

Santu Maya Sudit is 25 years old and only at the rank of a private. She drafted six months ago, even though she was not obligated by law due to her age and is serving as an adjutant at the “Valley” squadron.
“I chose to draft because I wanted to contribute to the country that gave me so much”, says Private Maya. “My parents are Israeli, my father also served in the IAF and it was important for me to follow his way. When I came to Israel I got a lot of support, both financially and socially. The army allows me to serve the country back”.

“I realized I wanted to live here”
When she was two years old, she was adopted from an orphanage by her parents, an Israeli couple who lives in New-York.
“My parents were always interested in India. They fall in love with the culture while travelling there and decided to adopt an Indian baby”, she explains. At the end of the adopting process, after completing the requested bureaucracy, she moved to New-York, where she was raised and educated.
“We celebrated Jewish holidays, went to the synagogue and I visited Israel almost every year”.
At the age of 17 she arrived to Israel for a period of nine months for her studying at the Tel-Aviv University. Afterwards she returned home to continue her studying at the Brandeis University in Boston.
“After studying in Israel I realized I wanted to live here”, she determines. “I told my father: I don’t know how or when, but I want to live in Israel”. A year and a half ago, just before graduating, she made up her mind to become an Israeli citizen.

One Big Family
When she arrived to Israel, Sudit took Hebrew lessons in Kibbutz Ma’agan- Michael. She independently approached the IDF and asked to join its ranks. She started her military way in basic training, wherfathree she took more Hebrew lessons.
“The main difficulty at the basic training was the age differences between me and the other soldiers, but overall it was a fun experience”, she adds.
At the end of her basic training she assumed her position at the IAF.
“Sometimes I come across difficulties, but I keep reminding myself that this is my contribution to Israel and that everyone goes through this experience, teenagers and seniors”, she said, “Everyone gave their share. I think that what makes our country so powerful. Israel is like one big family and there is a great sense of belonging here. Those who lived abroad can appreciate the things that exist only here. That is the nature of Israel”.