Another certainly in the army is that nothing is certain. The army took a gamble that they could convince Elie to stay with the Commanders Course. While he didn’t have the right to refuse their “offer” to take the two-week preparatory course, he does have the right to refuse to actually sign up for the actual 4-month course.
Elie went with the attention of arriving and immediately quitting. He was soon convinced to give it a few days, and a few more, and now has decided to finish the preparatory course for the Commanders Course…and then decide what he will do (an added incentive for him is that it means he’ll be coming home this weekend). So “Decision Time” has been pushed off, again, this time to next Sunday. In the meantime, we just found out that Elie’s cousin has also entered the Artillery Division, albeit several months behind Elie.
This difference means that while Elie has the “freedom” of the military base in the south where he is once again stationed because he’s now a “veteran” artillery soldier, his cousin is still in the phase where he is restricted and can only move around with a commanding officer. I called Elie to tell him that Yair was close by and Elie immediately called him. Then, last night, Elie called to tell me that he had a chance to see his cousin a few times during the day. While they are eating at the same time and in the same location, they can’t actually eat together, but Elie was able to go over and talk to him.
It must be wonderful to have that piece of home, that special family connection on a base with thousands of others. The two boys have already gotten along so well together and it’s fun to know they have each other…even if it is only for a few days, a few minutes each day, across a crowded room or by quick telephone calls and messages.
Elie told Yair that if he needs anything in the supermarket (to which Elie has the freedom to go most times of the day, while Yair can only go with his commanding officer…a few times a week), Yair should send him a text message and Elie will get it and bring it to him. Elie also had the chance to talk to Yair about what to expect, what comes next in the training. Suddenly, Elie, at only 8 months in the army, is suddenly the expert. It’s almost as if he’s back in the role of big brother, after months of being one of the new kids on the block.
Elie will still likely quit the Commanders Course this coming Sunday in favor of returning to his unit and waiting for the option to enter the Medics Course but in the meantime, he’ll have a few days close to his cousin.