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January 15, 2015 12:22 pm

Afghan War Hero Who Lost Both Legs Begins IDF Volunteer Stint

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US war hero Brian Mast begins IDF volunteer stint. Photo: Sar-El.

US war hero Brian Mast begins IDF volunteer stint. Photo: Sar-El.

A 12-year US Army Special Operations veteran who was severely wounded by an IED blast during his service in Afghanistan is now in Israel to help the IDF as part of a volunteer project, and to show support for the Jewish State, the Israeli 0404 News site reported Thursday.

Brian Mast, who lost both legs and sustained other injuries in an attack in July 2010, arrived on Jan. 10 as a Sar-El program volunteer. The group’s itinerary includes logistics and maintenance work on bases, hikes and field trips around the country, and seminars on Israel and Jewish life.

Mast is volunteering at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv as part of his two-week experience, according to the group.

The 34-year-old Ft. Lauderdale resident, a married father of two, told the news site that “having met IDF soldiers in my military travels throughout my years in service, and having grown up in a Christian home,” along with his experiences among south Florida’s Jewish population, helped form his pro-Israel worldview.

“…it was always proudly touted by my parents what great allies the US and Israel have been, and simply making myself aware of current and modern historical events all played a role in me wanting to find a meaningful way to show my own support for Israel in a time when so many are forgetting that you are our true friend in the region, that you are in defense of attack and not the aggressor,” Mast said.

Mast, a student at Harvard, said anti-Israel demonstrations on campus during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza helped convince him to make the three-week visit to the Jewish State.

“This past summer I was there studying,” he said. “At the same time, I saw the anti-Israeli protest in the face of the attempted indiscriminate bombardment of Israel. It was then that I decided I needed to find a way to go help however I can and however [Israel] would have me.”

Mast said he’s here to “get the most truthful assessment of what the daily hazards of life are as compared to someone on a sightseeing vacation,” and added that he will “learn the threats faced every day from the firsthand accounts of those who defend against them each day.”

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  • Dolly Rump

    Thank you Brian and to your Family as well for your dedication to our Armed Forces.

    Please return safe. We, the RBN, would love to have you as an honorary member and as a guest speaker upon your return. We would be honored to have you. I will be in touch with you soon.

    God Bless,
    Dolly Rump

  • Stephane

    Thanks Brian! And congratulations. You are a role model.

  • Waldland

    Brian Mast – you rock,Bud!

  • James Brown

    Good on you Mast, you will be a great encouragement to a people who are constantly being made out as being the bad guys. I too come from a Christian background, and see clearly who the aggressors are, I am pro Israel and know that Yeshua will come back to Jerusalem. My prayer for Israel would be that this nation would experience a spiritual revival and trust in God wholly and completely, they are the apple of his eye.

  • Bernard

    Kol Ha’kavod

  • Brian Mast u r a great person and I thank u for ur service. I know u wil enjoy and get a lot from the Sar-El experience! I did it several times and wil be doing it again in the spring. My wife will be joining me to a Sar-El experience,also. A word to describe, SABABA (awesome, great)! My thanks to you.

  • Charles Amberg

    As one who supports Israel, I think this man’s offer to help in whatever way possible is wonderfully commendable. I have often wondered if there might be any way I could be of any help. I am 72 yrs old, have had some useful experiences in life.

  • charlie johnson

    It was a wise move to go from Harvard to Israel. Can you imagine the millions of dollars that parents and the taxpayers put into these institutes of higher learning to provide our society with nitwits with masters degrees in public demonstrations? Then we beg China for money to pay interest on the US debt.Does anyone wonder why we have become a nation of borrowers? One has to have some form of brain damage to call these institutes a place of learning.

  • Judith Benattar

    Anyone who loses both legs and still wants to serve his country (the US) or a genuine ally and friend of his country (Israel) is a truly remarkable person. I applaud you Brian Mast and hope you enjoy and are embraced by the people of Israel!

  • Dear Brian
    Thank you for your service and good luck in your future endeavors.

  • Judy Silver-Shapiro

    The brave men and women if the IDF and an American hero.
    It doesn’t get much better then that, does it?
    Thank you for your service.
    We are free because of you despite the fact that this sitting US Pres, SON-OF-ISLAM obama, has NO respect and honour for the US military.

  • RobiMac

    I wanna go help.

    • Ron Rasmussen

      RobiMac: You can! Check out or for how you can get involved. I have been been on two Sar-El trips and you will not regret it. It is a great way to help Israel and is a tremendous cultural experience as well. You will meet many people from other nations who also suppotr Israel.

  • Carla Isselmann

    What a wonderful man and what a courage and zest for life he has! Israel get the best in the world to be her friends: Israel deserves that! Only the best support it:I despise the anti-Israel crowd!
    God Speed to all of you and especially Mast!