There is a fire against us. And in the end, the fire could burn us, or ignite us into an unstoppable force. (Azizi)
For over a month I have been privileged to be serving in a very special IDF unit consisting of physicians, paramedics, combat medics and combat troops. Every single person in my unit is a volunteer as it is a reserve unit. Our mission is to provide rapid medical response, stabilization and evacuation for our soldiers, our heroes. Everyone in my unit has come selflessly and voluntarily from all over Israel and indeed, all over the globe. They come from all levels of society, with various religious, and political beliefs. We are united by the desire to provide the best possible medical services to our brothers and sisters in uniform and sometimes, unfortunately, to provide the respect and honor for our fallen heroes on their final journey. Freedom is not free. As Bruce Mbanzabugabo observed:
Nobody was born hero and no one can inherit heroism; but you become a hero when your whole life has been a sacrifice for others.
There are many heroes of this war, ranging from the scarred survivors of terrorist attacks to the families of those kidnapped victims, who are unceasing in their call for the release of all the innocents, to those men and women keeping the home front strong, to all the volunteers, and those stepping up to the plate with words and, most importantly, actions both here and abroad during these difficult times.
“Hero” has become an overused word. A football player who scores a goal to win the game is called a hero. But a true hero is someone who puts his or her life at risk, to save others. The wounded soldiers my unit medvac to safety are perhaps the ultimate definition of heroism. They are, to a person, the most unselfish people I have ever had the honor to interact with. The first question of any wounded soldier we treat, no matter how bad the injury, is invariably, “when can I return to my unit?” Everyone wants to return to their family in uniform, finish the job to destroy the evil forces who sowed terror and death upon Israel on the “Black Saturday” of October 7, and to make sure that “never again” means just that, NEVER AGAIN!