By Vernetta Garcia
USAREC, Columbia Battalion
Feb. 17, 2016
Specialist Mahesh Shukla is the definition of determination: he is resolute, has a set goal and is now a step closer to achieving his dream of serving in the U.S. Army as a Military Intelligence Officer.
"This is the only country in the world where you can do anything if you're willing to work hard and stay with it" Shukla said.
The 33-year-old husband and father of three from India enlisted in the Reserve as a 35F, Military Intelligence Analyst.
"I was very impressed with him when we met," said Shukla's recruiter, Sgt. 1st Class Mary Sastre. "He was committed to accomplishing this goal."
"Sastre was very helpful," Shukla said. "When I talked with her, she knew exactly what I wanted to do and figured out the best way to accomplish it."
Shukla speaks five languages and is currently the chief of biomedical engineering with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Columbia, South Carolina.
"I believe I have a lot to offer and looking forward to serving," said Shukla. "Nothing is impossible if you stay with it."
Shukla came to the U.S. in 2008 and faced numerous challenges when he first tried to join the Army in 2011. His first hurdle was becoming a citizen, which he achieved in 2012.
Although he still faces challenges being apart from his family and possible deployments, Shukla is eager to start the next chapter of life in the Army.
"I want to do something for this country that has done so much for me; I want to be a good example for my kids," Shukla said.
"I believe Spc. Shukla will make an outstanding Soldier due to his perseverance and commitment to making his family proud and to give back to this country," Sastre said. "I wish him a lifetime of success and a career that can motivate and inspire others in the future."
Shukla ships to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for basic training March 1.