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Sikh Man Paves Way To Serve Country While Staying True To Faith

The path wasn’t easy for anybody, but it was especially hard for the guy who’s 6-foot-2, has a big black beard, and wear...

In 2017, WBUR told the story of a member of the Sikh faith and his long struggle to join the Massachusetts National Guard. Now he's 2nd Lt. Kanwar Singh.

Of the 31 people who showed up to Officer Candidate School in March, only 19 would make it through to the end.

The path wasn’t easy for anybody, but it was especially hard for the guy who’s 6-foot-2, has a big black beard, and wears his hair in a turban.

Kanwar Singh says it was always about more than just himself — it was about the wider Sikh community — and that helped push him through the years of uncertainty about whether he’d even get in to the military.

"Whenever I was down or I wasn’t having a good day, I would go back to the fact that I had to be at my peak performance because I represented the full community," Singh said. "And reintegrating the military was an important goal for us so we had to make sure we made it happen. Certainly there is a burden that comes with that, but I’m happy to be in that position, thanks to God, being able to pull through when you're in tough situations."

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