'You do everything to protect your comrades'

By JENNY MERKIN
August 9, 2006 05:36
1 minute read.

 
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"You don't jump on a grenade if you're not trying to protect someone you love. It's such a strong ideology, the connection between soldiers that is cultivated when you're fighting back to back in a foreign country," said Sergeant Y of the Golani's Battalion 12, fighting in Lebanon. Does he support the war? "When you are a soldier, you're trained to obey orders and be objective about it. Even agreeing with the order does more harm than good," he said. But he appreciates most of his work in the army. "You fight because it is your duty and because you want to and you enjoy what you're doing, so you have to find the balance." His formula for enjoying the army is to surround himself with friends. "During a crisis, people unite. It is happening within the people of Israel and among the soldiers. Enemies bomb us and, as a result, our friendships have gotten stronger." Examples of such loyalty can be found in the newspapers, he said. "You read the stories of how soldiers are killed, how they died jumping on bombs. It takes a lot of guts to die for a friend." According to Sergeant Y, that commitment is taught to every soldier. "It's the morals you learn that your friends are more important than you are. It's one of the most important things you teach your soldiers. You do everything to protect and bring back your fellow soldiers, even their dead bodies and even if it means risking your own life."

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