It was three weeks in Israel for Austin Gregory of Alma that turned things upside down.
"As we were in the bomb shelter, [we] heard [explosions],” Gregory said.
What was supposed to be a study abroad class landed him right in the middle of the crisis overseas.
“The first night the rockets happened. Being here, you never really witness that,” Gregory said. “That's an everyday thing for the people that live there.”
Gregory said he was set to leave on July 23 but flights were put on hold.
“We started hearing all the news [that] flights [were] getting cancelled,” he said.
Tension built for Gregory and his classmates.
After days of calls, cancellations and booked flights, the group made it home Saturday (July 26).
“Israel is surrounded by countries that hate them,” he said. “War is like that for them. People are shooting rockets at them.”
Witnessing the realities of war and global turmoil first hand, Gregory said, is a life-changing experience.
Gregory was in Israel with other students from his Texas college on a class trip.