War Is Real, Not Something You Just See On TV

War Is Real, Not Something You Just See On TV

Believe what you see in the media, because it's happening.


So, your first thought right now might be why I chose such a happy picture to be the cover of this article. You know the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" could never be more relatable in this picture.

I was lucky enough to have traveled to Israel on a 'Side by Side' mission through Hillel Milwaukee as a leadership opportunity. The purpose of the trip was to educate us about the conflicts currently going on in the Middle East and bring some sort of advocacy around campus for the coming fall semester. Over the course of the trip, I took many pictures, but none stuck out as much as this one did to me. I'll spare you the time of scrolling up and seeing the picture again, so I'll post it here.

Right where my forehead is, at the same level in the background is the border of Israel and Syria.

Stewart Kraus

In the picture you see me standing in front of a beautiful view off the top of a mountain in the Golan Heights on the border with Syria. The top of the mountain was filled with tourists taking in the breathtaking view. I posed for this picture, not quite aware of what was happening behind me.

You can't tell from the actual picture, but a war was going on behind me. From what sounded like thunder (I looked up in the sky to see if there was a storm coming, to prove myself wrong from hearing explosions, but there wasn't a cloud in sight) was explosions, machine gun shots, and death behind me. Beyond the border fence in Syria, you can see a lot of smoke coming up from a building. Not knowing what the actual cause of it was made me assume the worst.

Every now and then there would be another rumble in the ground from the war. Don't get me wrong, however, I was safe on the Israeli side, but at that moment and time, I got chills knowing that people were dying right behind me, and there is me, posing for a picture on a mountaintop that looks very happy, now gives me memories of war and death.

Growing up the concept of war seemed so surreal to me. We see it on TV and in movies, but living in the United States, we don't see warzones on our streets like some other countries do. War always was some sort of illusion to me because it felt worlds away (which it really was being on the other side of the world).

Since experiencing those eerie sounds while on the border of the two countries, that WAR IS REAL, NOT SOMETHING YOU JUST SEE ON TV. We are just fortunate enough to live in the United States where we don't need to worry about it happening in our backyards as much as other countries do.

Cover Image Credit:

Stewart Kraus

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The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!


We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness


What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst


It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen


Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad


Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin


Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate


Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny


More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body


Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you. 


Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.


I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

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