Saturday, April 24, 2010

For a Second, I Thought it Was Real

Paula R. Stern
A Soldier's Mother
22 April '10
Posted before Shabbat

My daughter spoke those words this morning as I drove her to school. She was talking about our visit to Shmulik's base. We arrived after a long drive, parked the car and walked passed a table of female soldiers who "registered us." They asked the name of our soldier, checked it off, handed us a note about what we would see, a business-size card with the name and phone number of the head of the Kfir division (including office and mobile phone numbers) and a rose for the mothers. A beautiful red rose...can you imagine?

We walked along a pathway until we got to a large gathering of chairs. As we walked around the curve, we saw perhaps a dozen soldiers, in full combat gear and guns, laying on the ground "hiding" behind the small hill just to the side. We sat and almost immediately, the event began.

The Kfir division commander introduced himself. He gave his name and position and then explained. He lives in Maale Adumim (where I do). He is married, and gave his wife's name. He is the father of four daughters, named them and gave their ages, "yes, four daughters," he said with pride, with a smile and a laugh, and people clapped for him.

He wants to show us what our sons will be learning in the months to come. When we first told them they would run three kilometers, he said, half of them had a heart attack. Now they do it easily. By the end of the training, they will be able to travel more than 40 kilometers on foot, he told us - carrying stretchers even. And then he directed us to look at the mountain just behind him.

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