Home > Army > Where I Currently Stand With The Good Old I.D.F.

Where I Currently Stand With The Good Old I.D.F.

I last left off, that I had to return back to the Bakom to let the officer know of my decision, so on Sunday morning I arrived at the Bakom with a rather simple answer, “no.” I didn’t want to do Karakal and I didn’t feel I should have to settle for something that I don’t want. He continued to try and convince me to do Karakal and even brought his superior in to talk to me about. I told them that I came to Israel to do Nahal, that’s what I wanted. I couldn’t do it, so I was willing to go to Shirion. After not wanting to go to Shirion, I began to get excited about working in some of the best tanks in the world. They are the backbone of the army. However, before I even had a chance, I was removed from Shirion, so why should I have to settle for something that these officers want me to do.

I told the superior officer that if I couldn’t do Nahal, and obviously couldn’t do Shirion, then I wanted to opt out of my contract. If this army doesn’t want me, then why should I bother staying here. I’m not 18 years old, I’m 23 and if I can’t do what I want to do, then why waste more of my time. There was no way I was going to waste a year and a half of my life pushing paper. When I told the superior officer that I wanted to opt out, he told me that there was no gaurantee and that I may only be able to get my service shortened to a total of 6 months. He said I would need to go in front of a board to discuss my situation. He then had the nerve to tell me that I hadn’t even tried. Tried to really be in the army I guess is what he was saying. I almost just across the desk and punched him in the face. Here’s this putz, who thinks he knows my story. For those loyal readers who know my story, I will spare you the broken record. I just couldn’t believe that he said that, and I told him that. The day basically ended nowhere. Now they had to figure out what to do with me, so I had to report back in two days.

I went back and forth to the office a few more times and basically this is what was decided: I would take a hebrew test and they would send me to a Hebrew course (Ulpan) for about a month. Afterwards, it was mentioned to me that I would go back to the Shirion base and do who knows what until the next draft, which is in November. Thus, as it was last left off, I will be returning to Shirion and for a second shot. In November I will have exactly a year left of my service. While it isn’t ideal, it seems pretty reasonable, as learning the Hebrew is an obvious positive and I will still get to do everything that I set out to do and will have nothing left to prove to myself or anyone.

Some thoughts on what I think will actually happen, because, well, after all, this is the Israeli Army:

I have been in the ulpan for 2 plus weeks. This is my last week. It is a four week course, but because of my situation, I joined a week late, which they didn’t think would be a problem. I arrived to the class and every person in the class is fluent and has more or less lived in Israel for at least 4 or 5 years. I have learned a lot, but the vocabulary is way over my head and i have trouble following the class discussions, but I am able to follow the lessons on grammar and such. After this week I will be finished with the ulpan and I have no idea what will really happen.

In the end, I’m still expecting the army to screw me over, which can work out in a number of ways. The entire plan to go back to Shirion could fall through and they could try and make me a jobnik or something along those lines, or they let me go to Shirion, but once again don’t give me much of a chance. However, this time, they let me hang around Shirion for a month so it looks like they really gave me a shot. Or, amazingly, they let me go to Shirion, give me a real shot, I succeed and in a year from November I will be heading back to the U.S. to sit down at Thanksgiving with my family as a former soldier in the Israeli Army. I’m hoping for the third option, but really think the second one is going to be reality.

I just really don’t think this army wants me. I don’t think they’ll give me a true shot to succeed. The best thing that can come of the second option is that I will have served at least 6 months, will be 24 years old, and we will both just call it a day. I guess only time will tell.

Categories: Army
  1. Chuck
    31/08/2010 at 15:06

    Herbie, no matter what we are very proud of you for your intentions, your committments and convictions! Hang tough.

  2. Scott Piro
    01/09/2010 at 13:22

    Hey, Herbie – I tried to get in touch by leaving a comment on your blog last week; not sure if you saw it. I run the Facebook page for a new Israeli nonprofit called Halev – The Organization for the Lone Soldier (http://bit.ly/9Gz18b). I’ve imported the blogs from some of your Lone Soldier friends – Tzvi & Rebecca – and I’d like to import yours, too.

    I actually can do this without your help, and importing your feed would only send more readers to your blog and nothing else. But I’d still rather not do it without getting your permission first.

    So, what do you think?

    Best, – Scott

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