(IDF) SGT Eyal, a combat soldier in the Border Protection Corps’ Bardelas Battalion, is proof that dreams do come true.
Eyal grew up in Bat Yam and Jaffa. He and his three siblings were raised in a single-parent home by their mother Hannah. While some kids could be found in various clubs or playing sports, Eyal was drinking alcohol and smoking with his friends on the streets. Eyal had several “encounters” with the law; and following yet another run-in with the cops, the court advised him to attend a boarding school for teens at risk. The boarding school offered him a second chance and was an alternative to incarceration. Eyal benefitted from his time at the boarding school until one of his peers stabbed a fellow student and the school shut down.
Eyal went on to attend a pre-military preparatory program, also known as a “Mechina.” In Mechina, Eyal told his mother,
“I want to get drafted into the IDF, so my siblings can see that I am serving something greater than myself and contributing to my country. Due to the poor choices I made, I was exempted from conscription into the IDF. This meant that my dream of becoming a combat soldier would not be achieved. Being in Mechina only strengthened my will to draft and I was not going to let my past define me. After long discussions with my mother and the Mechina, I withdrew my exemption from the IDF.”
In May of 2020 Eyal was drafted to be a driver at the Havat HaShomer [rehabilitative basic training] base. Eyal said that the year and four months he was a driver, “I told everyone that my goal was to become a combat soldier.” When Eyal went to request a reposition, “Everyone told men to “let it go”, Eyal, you are already here, face it…but I didn’t listen.”
After much persuasion and persistence, Eyal was re-drafted into the Border Protection Corps’ Bardelas Battalion. “I was finally in a position where I could contribute best.”
When asked about what gets him through the hard days, it was a no-brainer for Eyal— “My mom. She gets me through everything. No matter how difficult it is, I call my mom and she helps me understand that everything is temporary and that I can get through anything.”
“Eyal is my light,” his mother Hannah said with love. “I love seeing the passion in his eyes when he sets a goal for himself. He is an incredible example for the rest of his siblings and I hope they have the same devotion and passion he has.”
Eyal could’ve given up many times. Enlisting in the IDF and serving as a combat soldier was not forced upon him. He continued to fight for his dream. Eyal sums up his feelings: “I have learned, toughened-up and won. I achieved my dream.”
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