Voices We Have Lost

I have no regrets

A fallen soldier's letter to his parents: I love you very much and I am proud that you are my parents. I had a very interesting, happy life
Joseph Gitarts (Courtesy)
Joseph Gitarts (Courtesy)

Sgt. First Class Joseph Gitarts, z”l, was killed on December 25, 2023, after an anti-tank missile hit the tank he was driving in south Gaza. He was slated to be released from IDF reserve duty just five days later, on December 30, to continue his studies at the Reichman University in Herzliya. This is a note he left for his family in the event of his not returning.

Dear Mom and Dad,

I love you very much. Everything is as it is supposed to be. I have chosen this. I had a good and interesting life. And yet, I was never afraid of death. I could have skipped reserve duty and hid. But this would contradict everything I believe in and appreciate, and who I consider myself to be. So I didn’t really have a choice, and I would do the same if I could choose again. I came to this decision by myself and stuck with it until the end. I fell proudly for the sake of my people.

I have no regrets.

I love you very much and I am proud that you are my parents. You gave me a lot. I had a very interesting, happy, unique life. My death only highlights it. Undoubtedly, you are in deep pain. But you will manage it. I would like it a lot. It is the main thing that I want. Both of you have many close people who will support you.

Please, find something positive in all of this. Spend time with your grandchildren. Help Israel.

I am OK.

* * *

Joseph Gitarts’s story and many more stories of those who fell in battle or were murdered in terror attacks can be found in Those We Have Lost: Stories of civilians and soldiers killed since Hamas’s onslaught on Israel on October 7, 2023.

About the Author
Sgt. First Class Joseph Gitarts was a Russian-Israeli from Tel Aviv who was killed on December 25, 2023 while battling Hamas in southern Gaza. He was 25.
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