Esti heard only Wednesday night, when she was leaving the funeral of a friend, that her oldest son, Sgt. Nimrod Cohen, 19, was among the eight soldiers killed that day.
Her husband, Arieh, was notified by his longtime friend Motzi Dahmen, who is the head of the the regional council in the northern area of the Dead Sea.
Breaking into tears as he spoke to The Jerusalem Post, Dahmen said that Nimrod was was part of the rescue team sent to help the soldiers in the tank that had been attacked earlier in the day along the Lebanese border.
"He was a wonderful boy. He was very smart, you can't believe how smart he was. He also excelled in athletics," said Dahmen who had known Nimrod since he was a baby.
Before he was drafted into the army, Nimrod spent a year doing helping local communities as National Service, said Dahmen.
Esti and Arieh were among the founding members of Kibbutz Mizpe Shalem where Nimrod was born and grew up, said Dahmen, who was helping the family by watching Nimrod's nine-year-old brother.
The family is still reeling from the news and has not yet set a funeral time, he added.