This week the Warrior Word reporting team of Mery Kamhazi and Cathy Safdie sat down to talk to Hebrew Academy high school security officer and father of four Chris Thorne.
Mery/Cathy: Where were you born?
Chris: I was born and raised in Miami, Florida.
M/C: Is your whole family from Miami?
C: My mother and father are from Colombia, South America.
M/C: Oh, so you speak Spanish?
C: Si, hablo un poquito de Español, Japanese, Portuguese (Yes, I speak a little bit of Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese).
M/C: Wow, hablas muchos idiomas (Wow, you speak many languages)!
C: Si, hablas muchos idiomas (Yes, I speak many languages).
M/C: So, tell us a little bit about yourself.
C: Oh, let’s see. Like I said, born and raised in Miami; Colombian descent. I’m the first son. I have a younger sister. I graduated from Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School in North Miami Beach 2001. State champion wrestler.
C: Enlisted in United States Marine Corps in 2002. Traveled all over the world–Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan. I’ve been to pretty much every state in the United States. I’m a Gemini. I try to always be open minded and take in anything I-
M/C: New thoughts.
C: New thoughts. New perspectives.
M/C: So tell us a little bit about what you did in Iraq and Afghanistan.
C: I was in support of operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom. I was attached to III MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force).
M/C: Where did you go to school?
C: I went to Florida Atlantic University. I have my bachelors in psychology. Being the fact that I’m a veteran, I have considered becoming a counselor, especially since a lot of veterans have substance abuse issues, so I am exploring the possibility of going to graduate school.
M/C: That’s really cool. So what brought you here to Hebrew Academy ?
C: After I got out of the military I actually started out as a personal trainer. I consider myself as a martial artist. I studied Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay thai, krav maga. I wrestled in the military and also in high school, so I keep on with that. I tried to learn judo, so because of that I tried to incorporate that into fitness to teach people how to be more healthy, more conscious. However the health and wellness industry here in South Florida is so overly saturated, it didn’t allow me to support my family-not in a comfortable manner. Then I started to go into physical therapy, but I learned that that was difficult because you need a doctor’s degree to be a physical therapist, and it’s not possible as a father and you know, husband, and so I got my security license and that made me become a police officer. So what brought me here was an opportunity to gain more experience, as well as given the situation in Parkland, the shooting. So they needed an officer here.
M/C: What do you think of the students and staff here at Hebrew Academy?
C: Believe it or not if feels very familiar. Where I grew up by Aventura, Highland Oaks, a good majority of my friends were of the Jewish descent, so I feel kinship toward the Jewish community. I knew more about Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Passover than I knew about my own religion. The kids have pretty much taken me in with open arms. They welcomed me. I just hope I can make a lasting impression on them as a person who’s not of the Jewish culture.
M/C: Thank you for your time.
By: Mery Kamhazi (11th Grade) and Cathy Safdie (11th Grade)