Over the past week, we have taken the generous donations of our readers and distributed pizzas and care packages to Israeli soldiers currently fighting in Gaza or deployed at other flash points around the country.
Many of those soldiers have expressed heartfelt gratitude, not only for the treats they enjoyed during brief respites from war, but also for the fact that there are people around the world that care for them.
“You can’t imagine what this means to us,” one soldier with tears in his eyes told our team that traveled down to the Gaza border on Monday. “This demonstrates that not everyone in the world hates us Jews.”
Most of the soldiers in and around Gaza are young men, only boys, really. “When the rockets start to fall, we have only three seconds to find cover,” said one, as he happily received his pizza. Moments later, the air raid sirens howled, an all too common occurrence, and our team joined the young soldiers in hitting the dirt just as a Hamas rocket exploded in an empty field a few hundred yards away.
The danger past, the soldiers immediately returned to what they were doing, which for most was enjoying the blessing of a warm pizza and a cold cola before returning to the rigors of war.
Israel Today also delivered support packages to soldiers manning defenses in the battered southern city of Beersheva, as well as troops that continue to operate in and near Hebron in the hunt for the killers of three Jewish youth last month.
Many of those soldiers wrote letters thanking Israel Today and our readers for this tangible demonstration of support at a time when many of our troops feel so alone.
One such letter read:
Hello Israel Today,
I’d like to thank you for the generous gifts you gave us, here at our base in the southern Hebron area.
We are reservists, aged 21 to 45, and have been serving for 3 weeks now, having been called up for immediate emergency service.
We left our families, our jobs, businesses and lives, at a drop of a hat.
In many cases, our families are under daily horrifying rocket attacks. We reported for duty, to protect our families, our people, our country.
We are all both thankful for your kind gesture, and proud, knowing that you too are standing firm by Israel and its soldiers.
God bless you.
Senior NCO (Res.)