Noad Lahat is heading home. The 30 year old Israeli mixed martial arts competitor has an impressive overall record of 8 wins and only 1 loss, but he is putting his career on hold to return to Israel to support his family and his country
From Yahoo News:
Lahat speaks bluntly but matter-of-factly. It's a part of a Jew's life to fight and defend the homeland, he said.
"I hear it a lot, especially when I'm here in California, because people don't understand how we have to live," he said. "Life here is very good, you know? It's a good life. What do you worry about? Do you worry about paying your mortgage or making the payment on your car? That's not real life. People here in the States, they don't understand real life. Americans are fortunate. In the rest of the world, real life is totally different.
"You don't have to worry about driving in a certain [area] because that population there is hostile. We live knowing we are never safe. You live your life and go about your business every day, but we know [an attack] could come at any point. Everyone has someone or knows someone they've lost [to war]. Everyone. When something happens to one of our soldiers, the whole country feels it."
His parents are both generals. His older brother has been in the military service, as has his sister. His younger brother is preparing to serve.
He understands that by leaving the U.S. and returning home on Sunday, he's putting himself into grave danger. But he never gave a second's consideration to staying in California and waiting out the conflict before returning home.
"The only way we are a safer, stronger country is for us all to be united and fight together to protect our country, and so that's what I'm going to do," Lahat said.
Following Lahat’s victory in San Jose, the fighter explained to Joe Rogan why he was returning home.
....If me and my friends, my brothers-in-arms, won't go to defend my country, we'll have nowhere to go. It's something I really don't want to do. I want to stay here and have fun and enjoy the rest of the week after two really tough months, but man, I'm going to have to go, otherwise I'm not going to have a home."
My mom and dad have 15 seconds to run to get shelter when missiles are falling on them and I'm here in sunny California. I love California, but I need to go and defend my home. As a combat soldier, there's nothing I want more in the world than peace. I don't want to see my younger brother go in the army....
Wishing Noad Lahat, and all his people- all our people- a time when there will be no need for fighting. Until then, wishing them strength, and blessings.