Things you can only see from there…
I saw reserve soldiers, family men who just finished two weeks of exhausting reserve duty, receive a “change of mission” and go south.
I saw a large and impressive military unit quietly, confidently and in record time get efficiently organized and change directions from north to south.
I saw the Nachal Brigade’s excellent field commanders learn the missions and stand at the head of their units, willing and able to receive any and every command; I saw the time being utilized for another training session, another exercise, deeper learning of the maps and intelligence.
I saw how confidence was implanted in the soldiers.
I saw the military might advance southward on tank transporters and armored personnel carriers, being confidently driven by reservists, some of whom have long since passed the age of 50. Fearless, in an area constantly bombarded by rockets, these vehicles spread out ready and equipped with their barrels pointing south – threatening the hornet’s nest.
I saw the munitions experts move from weapon to weapon and efficiently check that each one is ready for action; I saw the logistics soldiers readying the equipment and making sure nothing was missing.
I saw the communications people making sure every piece was working – again and again, the intelligence personnel studying the territory.
I met residents of the South - welcoming, smiling, supporting us and caring for anything we were missing. One of my fellow officers went to a small coffee shop in Netivot and ordered 5 cups of coffee, the owner made them and quietly said – I’m only charging you for the milk.
I saw a Regiment Commander and a Deputy Brigade Commander whose children were born during the Operation (Mazal Tov), and except for a quick visit at home didn’t stop fulfilling their duties for a minute.
I saw the soldiers of the Nachal Brigade – Ashkenazy and Sephardic, new immigrants, city-born and country-born, from the moshav and from the kibbutz – stand equipped and ready for any command. These are our soldiers – my brothers!
I saw them roar and cheer with appreciation for the “Iron Dome” system with every successful interception over our heads!!
I heard my wife, children and family on the phone, worried but filling me with a sense of security – these are my real heroes!
I saw my team, excellent officers and soldiers attacking every mission and fulfilling it quickly and efficiently – I’m proud of you!!
So until next time, I want to say to everyone – we have an excellent brigade, commanders of the best I’ve ever seen and readiness for whatever may come their way.
I’ve returned home – the rain is washing everything, wonderful! Maybe the rain will purify the air, cleanse the rivalry and settle the disputes.
If not, we are here – ready for any command!
Major (Reserve service)