Israel’s Shahar Peer, ranked No.16 in the world, is wearing an olive green military uniform now. Israel has mandatory military service for both men and women, and the tennis star hasn’t tried to avoid it like some other celebrities.
“There was no question,” the 20-year-old Peer said. “All my friends are going and I wanted to be a part of it…When I am home, I have to go. I want to do my part.”
Peer is a part-time soldier, and serves as a military administrative secretary. The army has awarded her an “outstanding athlete” status which allows her to serve a few hours a day at her own convenience. Peer, who will complete her compulsory two-year service in October, said that the military service has not interfered with her playing career.
“It’s obvious that Shahar Peer is not going to be sent off to protect the state’s borders,” said Peer’s direct commander Maj. Shirley Shapira. “But service in the army is a mission in Israel, and everyone gives as much as they can.”