Staff Sgt. Oz Mendelovich 21 years old from Atzmon Segev enlisted in the IDF in March 2012 and served in Golani following in his father’s footsteps. In a joint interview with Army Radio prior to his death, father and son spoke about their shared Golani experiences.

“From the moment Oz was born he lived and breathed green and yellow,” he said referencing the Golani emblem.  Acknowledging the high risk factor associated with the Golani brigade, his father added that he would have been safer serving in the Kirya (Defense Ministry HQ) in Tel Aviv.

After hearing the news, friends eulogized his passing on Facebook. "You are an example to every child in the country who wants to protect the state," a fellow soldier wrote commending his valor.

A close friend of his posted their most recent WhatsApp conversation where Mendelovich attempted to assuage her fears for his life before entering Gaza. “Look, it’s all about your attitude. The army is a phase in one’s life, there’s no need to be stuck inside it forever. Understand?” he said.

“I thought I understood,” her friend wrote in a post above that WhatsApp screenshot. “But I don’t think you understand how difficult it is for me now to speak about you in the past tense…for certain people, you may just be a name in the news or in ceremonies, but to me you are my world and there is nobody else like you.”

He is survived by his parents and two siblings.

Staff Sgt. Oz Mendelovich was laid to rest Monday evening in Misgav.

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