The small Texas town of South Padre Island, was in mourning on Sunday after Sgt. Sean Carmeli's name was cleared for publication as one of the thirteen soldiers from the Golani brigade who were killed in a clash with Hamas. Carmeli had dual US, Israeli citizenship and was a lone soldier serving in Israel. Born to Israeli parents, Alon and Dalya, who now live in the US, he was a returning citizen who chose to stay in Israel when his parents moved to Texas for work; he has two sisters, Or and Gal.
According to The Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center's Facebook page, Carmeli was a returning citizen who came to Israel to "strengthen, unite, and define what it means to be a Jew today."
"Everything may be bigger in Texas, but the beaches and parties could not distract a native-son from returning home to defend and protect his people..."
“They made the ultimate sacrifice, in an attempt to rid the world of one of the most evil, unimaginable and horrible organizations to ever exist,” the post concluded.
According to Chabad.org, the Carmelis were part of the religious awakening in their small Jewish community and helped turn the samll town into a tight-knit community that observes the Torah and the commandments.
The parents who were religious wanted to instill n their three children decided to move back to Israel and Sean completed high school in Ra'anana and went on to join the army where he served with honor and distinction in the Golani Brigade.
“Just before it was time for him to enter the army, Sean made a decision to spend some time in a yeshivah,” recalls a Jewish Rabbi, Asher Hecht. The Rabbi said that when Sean was called up, his superior told him that he did not need to go to the front because of a wound on his foot. Sean, however, insisted on accompanying his comrades into Gaza.