Written By: Ari Fuld
Once a year, whether you’re a doctor, lawyer, teacher or student, the army calls you up and your life is put on hold from anywhere between two weeks to a month. One day you’re in the office sending emails and the next you are in uniform staking out wanted terrorists. Generally, those who are serving in active reserve units are happy to serve and actually enjoy the break in life (as weird as that sounds). The camaraderie and “good times” soldiers experience within their unit is something that is very difficult to explain to someone who has never experienced it. There is a strange balance between “I can’t wait to get home” and “I love spending times with the guys”. This weeks freezing weather and snow made the going home part a whole lot more attractive.
When I heard several of my neighbors were stationed in the Gush Etzion area and they were missing gloves, Standing Together went right into action. We immediately launched a campaign to raise funds to purchase operational gloves for the guys in uniform and within a couple of hours we already had the funds needed. One of the soldiers on duty was Avi Abelow of Efrat. I know Avi for way over 20 years, we actually went to elementary school together and he lives literally right next door to me.
The night before I was out till 1 am delivering winter gear to over 700 soldiers around Israel and I was very determined to make it to Avi’s unit before I got to sleep. I showed up at the Gush junction at around 01:15 but the guys who were supposed to be there had been moved. The next morning I got up nice and early to get the gloves to the guys as early as possible. One of the advantages of having your friend and neighbor in the IDF is, when you go to surprise him and his unit, you bring his kids along for the ride.