Lone Soldier Week 18 – Raw and Rugged from Israel’s Front Lines.

July 25, 2011 9:57 am 0 comments

The Lone Soldier.

‘Woke today at the crack of dawn for another day of drills.  My legs were already sore as we once again carry the whole shebang on our backs and head off to find our next location of training.  Helmets were to be worn.  They aren’t the most comfortable thing to wear when one is hiking in the desert heat. We pass curious Bedouins. I swear I don’t get how those people live in the ‘shetach’ their whole lives. Up and down the hills we trek, occasionally stopping to secure a perimeter. And then once we get there, we still gotta keep our gear on but kinda feel like I’m flying once I put that huge bag down. Today it was our unit’s turn to capture the second mountain while the other two units paved the way by providing heavy firepower.

We are running and dropping and shooting exactly as we have been trained to. We take over the ‘kita’ in front of us as they provide cover fire. We arrive at the top only to find out we are barely halfway there. Basically, there is another mountain on top of this one. Inhale and charge forward ever stronger, shooting all the time. I can even feel the vibrations in the ground caused by the Negev (machine gun) beside me. Not to mention the beautiful scenery.

We marched back along the road to base with all our gear, a good eight kilometers, stopping for occasional breaks. Passing cars would give us all a good beep. We arrive on base only to find out the next day there is a thirty kilometer hike that needs to be done. Most people were looking forways to get out of doing it. It sounded bloody insane but there was a group of us ready to push it to the limit. I unpacked my sleeping bag only to find in horror an enormous spider within it. And that’s what we were sleeping amongst, I thought, as my anxious roommates rushed to take care of it.

The next day we start drinkin’ water early, as we do before ‘masa’s, followed by a doctor’s check-up. Results were grim as more than half the ‘pluga’ were incapable of going on another hike. There were only three of us in my ‘kita’ fit to go.  And then suddenly, a great cheer is heard throughout our barracks. The ‘masa’ was cancelled due to lack of able participants. Everyone was kinda happy and relieved, and so was I, I did have a couple blisters after all. It’s important that you know your limits; goin’ too far can be permanently damaging. So instead, we had the most thorough inspection ever. Everything we had in our ‘ephod’s(vests) needed to be placed neatly before ‘em. Our guns had to be perfectly cleaned and dismantled. All our bullets had to be lined up next to each magazine. Not to mention the Mag and Negevs, too. What a week.

Lone Soldier

The Lone Soldier column is a weekly diary of a new recruit to the Israel Defense Forces following his time in service and beyond. E-mail: lonesoldier@algemeiner.com

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.