May 22, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 22, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Reserve Duty on the Golan Heights

My son-in-law, Nofar Shay, 32, is a Company Commander in the Reserves. This winter, he served four weeks on the Golan Heights, patrolling Israel’s borders with Syria and Jordan. Upon returning, he posted the following on his Facebook page.

A month of operational activity ended last weekend. We came to this reserve duty after long weeks of hard work—planning and fighting for every soldier. Days and nights of phone calls, Zoom meetings, emails and lists. We wrote down lots of requests and needs, preferences and problems. We were sorry to hear that some had conflicts at work or at home, and we were very happy to see that others were able to step up, to help, to be flexible and to give more.

Today we are back at our workplaces, businesses, occupations and families. We each went back to a home in the city, in a moshav, in a village or in a kibbutz. This morning we were once again in traffic jams on the way to the office, or in class, at a business, library, construction site, plot of land or laboratory. We are very different people but still a family. Very colorful and complex—there are a lot of differences between us but probably much more in common.

This was my first time doing reserve duty as a Company Commander, and amidst the uncertainty the only thing I had clear was with whom I was going on this mission—the people who will accompany me in this process. I had no doubt that because of my friends from the battalion and the company I wouldn’t be alone for a moment, and today I can say that I am proud that these are the people around me.

Thank you everyone for caring for each other and for the missions, for professional and responsible work, for long hours of activity in the rain, mud and cold of the Golan Heights. Thank you for days and nights of investment, for dedication and caring. Thank you for the sacrifice and effort.

Even as we completed our mission, there were already others replacing us on the border. Commanders and soldiers like us who for a few weeks left family at home, wore uniforms and showed up at the base. Gave up the regular school-exam period, postponed projects at work and missed moments with the family. Now that I am back as a civilian, and after a month of reserves, I want to thank everyone who does this when we are at home, where our security is taken for granted.

Last week, between missions, we talked about the question “Why are you doing this?,” a question that we hear a lot—sometimes from friends or our employer at work. We talked about it being a debilitating question, and that it is a mark of weakness for our society. Reserve service is difficult service; it always arrives at the wrong time, in extreme weather and it does not make financial sense. But it is also very significant and important, and to me it is the insurance certificate of this country. So I ask that all the questioners keep their question inside themselves, and if the need to respond arises, then it is possible to speak powerfully, to say a good word.

Many thanks to our wives and families who undertook this service as well. From my perspective, they served the country no less than we did, held our personal home-front tight and gave us good reasons to keep getting up for missions in torrential rain and for sorties in the middle of the night in unbearable cold.

Thanks go to Company C—who knew how to turn difficulties into experiences. You are champions.

By Teddy Weinberger

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles