The soft heart under the uniform

Monday, October 10, 2016 |  Israel Today Staff

The word "army" represents something very rigid and powerful. When you consider the average figure of a soldier, a picture emerges of a tough young man with a lot of "gung ho" just waiting for action.

Ezer M’Tziyon (Assistance from Zion) is a nonprofit organization established 30 years ago. Among all the wonderful things they do, includes managing a bone marrow bank.

A decade ago collaboration was established between the association and the IDF. Young soldiers could give a saliva sample, on enlisting, which would be entered into the organization’s database.

In keeping with his great respect for the work of Ezer M'Tzion, President Reuven Rivlin and his First Lady opened the Presidential Residence to host a momentous event honoring IDF soldiers who were individually presented with treasured Lifesaving Medallions. Guests witnessed the results of the soldiers' altruism towards others who were only alive today because these young men had joined the Registry.

The highlight of the evening was when some of the soldier donors met the people saved thanks to their contribution.

One of the participants invited to tell his story was Erez Raslovsky. In a voice choked with emotions, he tearfully thanked Ezer M'Tzion that his children would not have to grow up as orphans. A family man with a wife and kids, he had been told that he had only six months to live. "I would love to meet the man who saved my children’s father," he ended. Within seconds a soldier, Omer Ben Horin, who had only recently finished his basic training, ran up to the stage no longer able to hold back his tears. The two embraced like brothers, from here on they would always be a part of each other’s lives.

Soldiers swear an oath during their induction that they are ready to sacrifice their lives for their country, but these life saving actions of our young soldiers show that they are not only ready to sacrifice their lives but also willing to give life and hope to others.

It's inspiring to know that Israel’s future is in good hands - the hands of a young generation that have values!

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