Cabrini soldiers split time between service and school

By Mary Adam
October 17, 2002

Chris Jones

Devon Spratling has been serving in the Army, National Guard, and ROTC program since March 22, 2002. Spratling received his basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. Spratling said, of his basic training, “You’re kind of separated from the entire world. You can’t read anything but the Bible, they tell you what to eat, when to eat, and where to eat it. It’s very isolated.”

He was asked about how he would feel if he was sent off to war. “I’d be scared out of my wits, but excited.” Later he added, “Yes, it happened and I may end up in Iraq, but I don’t think my chances of dying over there are any worse than dying here. Anyone can die at any moment, it’s just a matter of accepting your mortality.”

Spratling plans on putting in 20 years and going into combat arms. He would like to fly helicopters, and end up going into politics or the FBI.

Imran Malik attends Valley Forge Military Academy and takes classes at Cabrini. Malik serves in the Army and has been for a year. “I have a deep underlying belief that service is the duty of every young American,” Malik said.

Malik had already been in the military when the 9/11 attacks occurred. “It justified everything I had been doing and training to do until that point, and it made me push harder and believe in what really mattered, not just a way to pay for college.” He added, “[While training] more attention was paid to security and defense, and there was a lot more seriousness in the training element because we finally had a defined purpose.”

While the thoughts of being sent off to war circulated in his head, Malik said, “I will do anything I have to; it’s my duty and job. I’m not begging to go because I know how horrible it is, but I signed up for it. But if I were sent, I would try as hard as I could to make sure no other is sent in my place. It’s what we have to do; it’s not about me. It’s about what and who we defend.”

Malik plans to be in reserves for a while and stay on active duty for about two to four years. He wants a degree in biology and will try for medical school.

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Mary Adam

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