LSU student caught in Israel as war breaks out
BATON ROUGE - An LSU student survived a war-zone trip to Israel and returned with a new appreciation for her native country, and a desire to raise awareness about the situation.
Erin Schwartz traveled with a group called "Birthright Israel," an organization that allows Jewish, young adults from around the world to experience Israel for free, for 10 days.
The group landed just as chaos began to erupt between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians. During a two-night stay near Gaza, Schwartz witnessed two rockets get taken down by the Iron Dome, Israel's Missile Defense System.
"I've never felt a fear like that in my entire life," Schwartz said. "Just the noise and the vibration of the whole ground..it was the most scary thing I've ever been through...I can't imagine living day to day like that."
She left Israel as the violence started to escalate, and watching the attacks from home was harder for her than ever before.
"I just wish I could still be there and do something," Schwartz said. "I don't like feeling useless to something I care so much about."
Her goal now, is to share her experience with her peers, and bring awareness to the violence in the Middle East.
"I just wish people would care more," Schwartz said. "I want them to do something about it."