When Idan Kobi (photo), 26, was killed during the Lebanon war this past summer, his death left an absence in his reserve unit … but not for long. Out of a sense of duty to country and in memory of his son, Itzik Kobi, 50, Idan’s father, volunteered to serve in his son's unit.
"I want to continue my son's path, from the moment in which he stopped. I want to fill his place and help the state. I'm sure he would do the same thing in my place," Kobi said. "I heard how he helped all of his friends and how they're sorry he's gone and I want to fill that void – to help his friends in the unit where he served."
Kobi is a driver for the Nahariya hospital, another town that was under constant barrage by Hizballah rockets during the war. He risked his life driving medical crews during emergencies. On the day Idan was killed, Kobi recognized his son’s friends among the wounded in the hospital. He asked about his son, but they couldn’t tell him the tragic news.
"Despite the heavy price I paid, I think this war was justified," he said. “As a resident of the north who lives right near the border... I saw with my own eyes how Hizballah built itself up.
The entire family is patriotic. Kobi said his two other sons, 8 and 12, are already talking about which combat units they want to serve in the army.
"We have no other land and we need to defend the one we've got,” Kobi said. “Even though my son was killed, my country is still here."