Growing up, countless times, Kibbutz Gan Shmuel native Doron Sofer heard his
father, Dror Sofer, talk about his experiences in the Armored Corps when the Yom
Kippur War broke out on October 6, 1973.
Before being drafted himself,
however, his father’s story always seemed like a “far-away tale” that had little
significance to him.
Years later, as he completes his mandatory army
service, that tale has become more meaningful. Doron is in the same battalion in
which his father had served.
“I find myself in the same places he was at,
sometimes in the exact same paths he crossed during the war,” Doron explained.
“It definitely makes me think about his story.”
Dror, who was about 20
years old at the time, was driving an IDF armored personnel carrier on the Golan
Heights during the first night of the war.
“At the time, I didn’t really
know what was going on around me,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “I understood
there was a war going on, but why and what was exactly happening? I didn’t
During the sleepless night between that Saturday and Sunday, Dror
had lost his best friend – his brigade commander – and on one “terrifying”
occasion, he found himself directly facing Syrian tanks.
Nearly 10 years
ago, Dror began participating in the writing of the Hebrew book Al Blima, which
was published in 2009 and tells the story of the 188th Brigade, in which he
“During the creation of the book, Doron saw a lot of people come
to our house and talk about the past,” Dror said.
“I even took him on a
few of our field trips to the Golan Heights.
“I think that’s what
influenced his choice of service,” he added.
“It was, of course, his own
decision, and I never pushed him into it in any shape or form, but I think the
book is what planted the seeds. I’m very proud of him.”
Doron told the
Post that serving where his father did has given him a strong “sense of
“I am proud of serving here. I love the battalion, which is
not something every soldier can say,” he said.
As for the father-son
relationship, both agree that although they had always been very close, their
common army service has definitely “added an additional layer” to their