Lone Soldier 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In 1981, Yossi Flint stood in a line with his fellow soldiers from the
Battalion of the Paratroop Brigade during their swearing-in ceremony at
training base in the Negev. Afterward, he watched as all of the other
ran to hug their parents and relatives.
A lone soldier from
Scotland, Flint did not have anyone to hug. That is why 27 years later
here to attend his son Adam’s swearing-in ceremony to the 101st
Battalion of the
“I had nobody when I was a lone soldier and
myself that if I ever had a child, I would never allow him to stand
alone at the
ceremonies,” Yossi recalled this week in a conversation from his home in
Yossi continued to come and with
each trip brought another piece
of memorabilia with him. When Adam’s unit received the Paratroop
trademark red beret, Yossi gave his 27-year-old beret to his son. When
unit finished the parachute course and received the trademark silver
Yossi flew here to pin his 27-year-old wings on his son’s uniform.
Adam’s unit received the Paratrooper tag – a green snake with white
Yossi came to give his fading tag to his son.
Afterward, he decided to
recreate the tag he had just given up and tattooed it onto his left
where it once hung proudly.
“I did the tattoo to have a direct connection
to Adam, since he was wearing my tag on his shoulder and I wanted to
wear one on
my shoulder as well,” the First Lebanon War veteran said.
Adam, 20, was
born in Glasgow to Yossi and Smadar.
His parents met after Yossi
completed his military service in 1984 and then returned to
From a young age, Adam heard stories about the IDF.
would march around the house wearing his father’s uniform and beret and
with toy M-16 rifles. According to Yossi, it was quite obvious that Adam
headed to the army.
“I heard from my father how the army builds you up as
a person,” Adam said. “I see the difference today when I go back to
am with my friends...
The army changes you as a person because you have
to be more mature, since when I am in Hebron going through narrow alleys
to fear that something is going to be thrown at me. People my age in
places don’t have to worry about that.”
Adam specifically asked to serve
in the Paratroop Brigade like his father. “The feeling that my father
there meant that I had to be there as well, and when I saw my friends
out during the tryouts, I saw right past it and pushed my hardest, since
was no chance that I wasn’t going to make it,” he said.
impressed by the way the army treats lone soldiers today. When he was in
IDF, he said, he spoke with his parents maybe twice a year. Nowadays,
lets the lone soldiers fly home at least once a year and in some cases
covers the costs.
Adam, however, is hoping to break the chain of lone
soldiers in the Flint family, and after his discharge in a year plans on
here. When the time comes for his children to go into the army, they
will do so
with parents in the country.