How Swahili Helped Kenyan Athlete Join US Army

  • Members of the US Army walking at an airport.
    Members of the US Army walking at an airport.
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  • A Kenyan-born athlete is shattering ceilings in the United States Army after he joined the force in 2016.

    In a sit-down with Fox News Sports, the athlete, Bernard Keter, a soldier-athlete, noted that he was thrilled to represent the Army in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics slated to kick off on July 21, 2021.

    His journey to the top, however, began in a remote village in Kenya when a coach from the US state of Texas, who was scouting for talent, offered him a scholarship to the US.

    He said that he was encouraged to take up the opportunity by his brother, an athlete based in Bahrain. He later got enrolled in a community college.

    Kenyan-born Benard Keter during athletics rehearsals in the USA.
    Kenyan-born Benard Keter during athletics rehearsals in the USA.
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    "Everything was different. Coming here, you figure out, like, you have your washer and dryer inside the house. You have everything.

    "I had to learn how to use the shower, I had to learn how to do everything, and you know, everybody was different," Keter recalled his relocation to the US.

    He landed a spot in the US Army in 2016 at a time the military was looking for an individual who was fluent in Swahili and English. He was still attending college at the time.

    "Being in the Army is a life-changing experience. You have your chain of command. You have your teammates. You have soldiers in the platoon. You have soldiers in the company. It’s a great family to be in," he added.

    Regarding the upcoming championship, Keter noted that he was ready to represent the military and in extension, the US government.

    "My goal is...don’t let them down. I’ll be doing this for the United States, doing it for the Army, doing it for myself, doing it for my family," he declared.

    Since graduating from Texas tech, Keter now lives in colorado.

    He disclosed that he faced challenges while in college because he found it difficult confiding in people other than his roommates but discovered that the army was one big family.

    A signpost welcoming travellers to Texas in US.
    A signpost welcoming travellers to Texas in US.
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