18-year-old punjabi sikh girl Sukhleen Dhillon has been inducted as a in the army. Her father, Jatinder Singh Mintu, who is on a visit to Kapurthala these days,
proudly shows the certificate issued by the Fort Jackson Army Training Camp in July. It reads:
“This certificate is presented to Pvt Dhillon Sukhleen Kaur, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, for successful completion of basic combat training.”
Sukhleen is part of a company of 450 young recruits training in Georgia. She is the only Indian girl cadet among them, while there are several Indian men.Speaking to The Tribune from Georgia, she said, “It’s special to have come this far. I have handled tricky weapons and walked over 10 miles carrying weights of more than 30 pounds. It feels nice to make my parents and country proud.” She is keen on becoming a lieutenant.Jatinder, accompanied by his brother Kulwinderjit Singh, said, “Sukhleen initially felt lonely in the US. She then started following army aspirants on the internet. Soon, she surprised us by saying that she wanted to join the US army.”Jatinder, who is in the construction business, admitted that the family once had doubts whether she would be able to train so hard. “During a training session, she suffered a fracture. We got worried and thought of calling her back. But she stayed put and said the injury would heal soon. We realised that she would pursue her dream at any cost,” said the Kapurthala native, whose grandfather and paternal uncles served in the Indian Army.Sukhleen studied at Begowal till Class VI and then moved to Amritsar after her mother, Balbir Kaur, got a job as a school principal there. She studied in the holy city till Class XII before shifting to the US last year. She wants her brother, Arshdeep, to join the army as well.