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Total Shocker….NOT!

After finishing my course last week, I had to report back to the Bakom on Sunday. I arrived around 10 a.m. and waited until 12:00 p.m. to meet with the officer. We sat down and he started asking me how the ulpan was in Hebrew. I did my best to answer, but I guess he wasn’t impressed enough because he then told me that my Hebrew wasn’t good enough to go back to Shirion. I wasn’t totally shocked, as I had somewhat expected this to happen. However, I asked him what happened to the plan of going back to the Shirion base and using what I had learned to further enhance my Hebrew. I thought that was the whole point of the course. Give myself a foundation and then build on it. I guess I was wrong.

I asked how someone could be expected to learn an entire language in three weeks. They knew exactly how much I could learn in that period of time. Essentially I was sent on a Fools Errand. I asked the office what was next and he basically said that we could find some sort of jobnik job. I told him absolutely not. I told him that if I can’t do combat I want to shorten my service or get out immediately. I only need two more months to fulfill service for someone my age. The officer then said he would make a call to Shirion and find out what they think. I went back outside and waited.

This is what I look like at the office. It's a tough job. At least I have mastered the craft of napping during my time in "the army"

Around 2:30 p.m. I went into his office and he said Shirion would not take me back and he asked me if I was sure I wnated to opt out. Answer: YES! He then went on to call me a quitter, to which I responded, “don’t you dare call me a quitter. You don’t know my story at all!” He took back the “quitter” line, but then said why did you come here, to serve Israel or to do what you want. My Answer: both. I came here to get combat training. To be a fighter. To fight for Israel. As simple as that. I wanted to be a soldier.I have not gotten the training that I wanted or anything close to it. To me, I have not served in the Israeli army. I really don’t consider what I have done so far being a soldier. I simply don’t. I’m sorry if that insults people who are jobniks, but that’s how I feel.

There is nothing wrong with being a Jobnik. Someone has to do it and there are certainly important jobs and pretty cool jobs, especially in the Air Force, Intelligence, and so forth. However, to me, most Jobniks are not soldiers. They are people required to do military service. If Israel went to war, they would not be capable of fighting because they do not have the training. I WANT the training. In the U.S. military everyone goes through the same basic training for the most part, so regardless of whether they sit behind a desk afterwards they still get the respect of having gone through the same training as the other combat soldiers. In Israel, this is not the case. Those not doing combat, get very minimal training and it is somewhat of a joke. Again, I want the training of a combat soldier. That is why I came here, to defend Israel and get the training of a combat soldier, not of a jobnik.

I explained this to the officer and basically the other night I had to write a letter requesting that my service be shortened and for what reasons I want to be released of my contract. I wrote two letters, one in English and one in Hebrew. The Hebrew one took me 2.5 hours, but I was pleased with myself.

So now, I am waiting to hear what is going to happen. I have been assigned to a very important job at the Bakom. My first day was yesterday. I was assigned to work for this woman. She described her job as answering phone calls and faxing things. AWESOME! She had me fax a dozen papers or so and then she told me to wait outside her office. Somehow, I must’ve dozed off because I woke up laying down on the couch and it was about 12:15 p.m., so I went in to the woman’s office and asked to go to lunch. I got back from lunch around 1 p.m. and sat and did nothing until 2 p.m., and then just went home. Today I went in and literally just sat there for a few hours, did nothing. Went home. God Bless Israel and this army.

Categories: Army
  1. Aunt Jill
    13/09/2010 at 01:43

    Dear Herbie-
    We are sorry it did not work out as you would have liked. We want you to know that we love you and are proud of you.
    Aunt Jill and Uncle Gary

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