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A SON'S CHOICES
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More on our soldier boy.
He stood for his latest review and did very well; 6 out of 7, 7 being the highest grade. He received nothing lower then a 6 with a few 7s, one of which was in Jewish/Israeli history. He gave us credit for all the time we spent schooling him on Jewish/Israeli history/heritage in our home. We have a very deep connection to Israel and so it was transferred in many ways. Paid off for the kid in classes. His pride was infectious!

All the paper work was signed and delivered to his commanders, waving our right to "surviving son." D signed his papers agreeing that he too was waving his right and requesting a combat placement. It's all very scary but this is what he wants. I write "kid" but really he's quickly shedding all sense of being a kid. He's taken up being a man in his own right, his own choices with their own consequences. This has put him in line to try out for SF (Special Forces) units. In March he will attend the three day "gibush," these are some of the most grueling physical and intellectual tests soldiers take. If passed they come with acceptance into the finest units in the IDF.

D's put in his three choices for units: 
1) Tzanhanim (paratroopers) --- which mean he could be stationed anywhere and sent into battle in the front line. It's a very prestigious unit, one that would afford him very advanced training, which is what he's looking for as well. Below is a Wiki link for unit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratroopers_Brigade_(IDF)

2) Kfir --- which would put him in the West Bank in an Urban combat unit. Like all guys, it's all about the man toys, this unit has the newest tech. Below is a link to Wiki about this unit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kfir_Brigade

3) Nachal --- is a combat unit that's received the best reviews in the IDF in the last two years. It also has elite forces units and passing the "gibush" would qualify D for acceptance. This unit is also where most of the regular immigrant volunteers get placed, so chances are D would be with many of the guys he's training with right now. This is also the unit, but non-combat, where one of my sister served. Below is a link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahal

How do we feel about all this?
It's across the broad proud to freak out. We had hoped he would go learn the language and volunteer for a non-combat unit, something humanitarian. Still he is putting in to be a field medic so there is some humanitarian involved. He gave up on the search and rescue unit because working with the k-9 unit meant volunteering for 9 years. He has other plans at the moment lots of travel.

For us It's not the kind of "whoorah" pride that one might think of, it's that he set a goal and is carrying thru, that he's again showing the motivation that in the past was a big part of D at his core. No longer is everything about living in his brother's shadow, this is his life, his choices. Of course we would have liked a set of safer choices. Wouldn't every mother? 

Some of us in the system have to step up and admit that we taught him this love for Israel, this need to serve the country, to be part of the ethnic fabric of the people. We did teach this to our sons, so we can not be surprised that D took up this responsibility. It is wonderful that he is enjoying himself, that he is realistic about what being a soldier is about and most of all he is happy. He has not been happy for a very long time. Its good to see and hear him happy, to hear from my sister that, "yes he is happy!" 

We will set with our worry, hold our breath and hope nothing bad happens to him. That he comes home safe or stays there and begins a life after the army. 

Ravin & Nikie...

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We'll think of him. I think you are really brave to support him in this choice.

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Thanks.
Yes, I hope he never has to make that choice.

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