A Look at American’s Newest Generation of Fighting Men and Women
Spc. Arafat Khaskheli is America's Military feature for March 29, 2007

Name: Spc. Arafat Khaskheli

Age: 30

Unit: 148th Quartermaster Company, 240th QM Battalion, 49th QM Group

Time in service: four years

MOS: 92F – Petroleum Supply Specialist

Hometown: Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Family: Parents, Muhammad Suleman and Sabahi Khaskheli

Recent accomplishments: “Bouncing back from hardships to where I am now.”

Pastimes: “Working out and enjoying two and three-dimensional art.”

Person you most look up to: “My father. He started out in Pakistan under the caste system. People like him were forbidden from getting an education. They were basically slaves working for landlords. He refused to give in, broke free and put himself through school completely on his own. Now he’s about to retire after 35 years from an oil company in Saudi Arabia. He’s been very, very successful.”

Most embarrassing moment: “I was in a bar picking up a girl and told her she looked like Courtney Cox. I got turned down pretty badly. It was embarrassing.”

One life-changing event: “Joining the military. I’ve seen the world from a very different perspective. I could have never fathomed this as a civilian.”

Why I joined the Army: “I was curious ever since I was a little kid. I wanted to know what it really meant to be a man in uniform.”

If I wasn’t in the Army: “I’d probably be working for a gaming or computer animation company.”

One thing I would change about the Army: “The way we take care of Soldiers coming back from combat tours.”

Worst fear: “Plane crashes. I’m afraid of flying, but I know I have to get from point A to B.”

What makes a good leader: “Integrity. It’s the basis for all the other values in the Army because you’re doing the right thing when others are not around. That takes a lot of strength.”

What makes a good Soldier: “Someone who is brought up through the ranks with proper leadership. If you have proper leadership, it paves the way to becoming a good Soldier.”

Best thing about the Army: “From my experiences, you break away from the ignorance in a lot of respects. It helps you think in ways you never thought before. College is the same in many respects, but you don’t communicate and bond with people like you do in the Army.”

Values: “Honesty and sacrifice.”

Motivations: “I know from my experience in the military that there are people in the world that don’t have a roof over their heads and don’t get to eat meals. Having that knowledge makes me more appreciative of what I have, even though it may not be glamorous.”

Goals: “I want my own business, to be self -sufficient, take care of my family and I want children.”

— Editor’s note: America’s Military is a weekly feature that seeks to highlight military members who serve with pride, honor and ambition. Submissions for this column may be made to T. Bell at terrance.bell@lee.army.mil or (804)734-7190.

— Compiled by T. Anthony Bell