Last September, when we first started accepting new members from operation Protective Edge, we learned that many of them suffer from eye injuries. Some were injured by shrapnel that caused partial vision loss, others became fully blind. Two days ago an officer from Golani named Tal, joined our foundation. His team was on a mission to clear a house from terrorists. When Tal stepped towards the door, he found a terrorist there, who threw a grenade at him. Tal was able to kill the terrorist, but the grenade exploded, and as a result of the explosion, Tal lost his left eye and was severely injured to his leg.
Another member who is a walking miracle is Elad, who recently participated in the Johannesburg delegation, and also lost his eye during Protective Edge. I asked Elad to tell his story.
Please take a moment to connect to what our young brothers are going through right now.
I served as a commander in the Givati Brigade and had 10 soldiers under my command. I was injured on July 20th fighting the Hamas terrorists in Gaza in Operation Protective Edge. On our way to our target we heard gunshots and we saw suspicious movements. We were attacked from all sides and lay on the ground.
I turned around to check on one of my soldiers who called for a medic and felt a hard and painful bang to my head. I couldn’t see or hear anything at that moment. A bullet entered my head from behind my left ear and went out through my right eye. It took a long time to evacuate me out of Gaza: I was put in a sitting position in the back of a tank, transferred to an armored vehicle and then on a helicopter to the hospital, in critical condition. I was awake the whole time and didn’t lose consciousness. The bullet shattered my facial bones, the base of my skull, took my right eye and the hearing in my left ear and caused a life-endangering CSF leak.
I had an emergency surgery and was sent to the IC unit, where I also got a meningitis infection. My life was again in danger, and I was saved for the second time. I was in the hospital for a few months in the head trauma unit and I still go to the hospital a few times a week for treatment. I have recently undergone a major operation and am scheduled for another in the next few weeks. I can’t smell or taste , or hear with my left ear or see with my right eye.
It is painful and hard to be injured but I am proud to be an Israeli soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces, protecting our country and fighting for Jews all around the world. Hope For Heroism (BROTHERS FOR LIFE) have helped me find my way again on the road to recovery and the Johannesburg delegation was life changing for me.
Shabbat Shalom from Israel,