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Cadet Spotlight: Artem Jordan

By DeJanay Booth

 

The American Dream

“My English is a little rusty,” Artem Jordan said.

Certain words naturally rolled off of the tip of his tongue. But Jordan appeared to speak perfect English despite his accent. It was thick but didn’t overpower his speech.

What some people don’t know is that Jordan learned to speak English less than 10 years go.

When he was 16 years old, Jordan met his new parents, who adopted him and his sister Tamara from Ukraine. It felt strange moving to a new country without speaking the language. But coming to the States was something Jordan wanted to do.

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Artem Jordan said his perspective on the United States has not changed since he arrived.

Living in an orphanage for more than 5 years, Jordan believed moving to United States would produce a better future for him.

“I’m going to go to America,” the University of Southern Mississippi student thought. “I have my future now.”

Shortly after arriving, culture shock struck Jordan. He didn’t understand tradition. He started high school and picked up the language with the help of his parents, students and the program Rosetta Stone. He joined the soccer and cross-country teams in school, building friendships.

During his senior year, Jordan’s life stretched in front of him. He reflected on the idea that a family would come to another country and adopt children.

It was not until after high school that Jordan considered the Army. His father was an officer and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Jordan approached him shortly after his graduation.

“If you’re able to be successful and retire, I want to do something with my life too,” he told his father.

Jordan enrolled in ROTC when he went to college. Right away, his leadership skills blossomed. At that moment he was certain that it was important to become an Army officer.

At times, he thought back to where he came from. The Army was not on his list. However, the option fell before him and he chose to pick it up.

He is grateful for the chance to live in America but never forgot the orphanage he grew up in and the people there.

“You have big opportunities,” he said. “If you want it, you can be it.”

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DeJanay Booth

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