Our first-ever UNION Pioneer, Evi Kahana, 19, is truly an outlier within his American demographic. He and 13 local high school buddies, all recent graduates from Minnetonka High School, a middle class high school located in Minneapolis’ west suburbs, decided to enlist and serve their nation before carrying out college aspirations. Growing up with perhaps all the comforts he needed and maybe even those he wanted, Evi showed an appreciation by serving the nation that afforded him these luxuries. All this despite his academic achievement and family’s ability to afford college tuition. Bravo!

How are men like this forged? We were able to gain deeper insight in Evi’s backstory through his proud father, Eran Kahana. Eran writes:

“Evi grew up in Chanhassen. He attended Clear Springs, Minnetonka Middle School (West) and graduated from Minnetonka High School in 2015. He played football and basketball, and particularly enjoyed participating in airsoft war games. Neither Minnesota’s harsh winters nor blazing summers dampened his excitement and engagement in this activity. In 2015, Evi, along with 13 other Minnetonka High School seniors, took this passion to the ultimate step, meshing it with his instinct for service and enlisting in the U.S. armed forces. Today he is deployed overseas in a combat role in the U.S. Army.

Early on, Evi was introduced to the military as his family counts veterans and active duty members of the Israel Defense Forces. He frequently travelled to Israel and traversed throughout the country. His characteristic steady composure and calm demeanor were already evident several years ago when he toured the border between Gaza and Israel, which only a few days prior was a battlefield. Today, we hear his solid, steadfast and engaged voice over the phone as he recounts some of the activities he participates in the course of his overseas deployment.

Evi’s deployment is providing him with an invaluable set of learning experiences that will be with him for the rest of his life. He is passionate about and wants to seek out learning leadership skills and honing them in the most demanding of environments. He is proud to the wear the uniform. He is proud of the opportunity to serve his country. He has truly found his calling.”

Those like Evi and his 13 Armed Forces comrades from MHS continue to truly inspire American civilians, communities and brands like UNION Protein. It is our hope that we can continue to lift up and inspire our Heroes as much as they motivate us in all we do.