Paintball, Pictures, and Pieces

I guess I should be grateful for Facebook. We get to spy on our kids and see pictures we’ve never seen before. I found several of Elie during the time he was in the army and I decided to grab them and post them here.

Here are some:

In the post: Thank you…from Elie’s Commander the army took Elie and the other commanders and officers for a day of paintball to help them unwind and to thank them.

In that post, I wrote…

There are many things that I think are unique about the Israeli army. Chief among these things is the way that the Israeli soldier interacts with his commanding officers. Israel is a very informal country in many ways. It is not uncommon for people to wear jeans to work; for children to call their teachers by their first names. I know everyone in our local bank by their first names and in discussions with friends, we refer to the mayor of our city by his first name.

K. (that’s how we refer to “secret” officers in Israel) wants to thank his commanders and so has planned a special day for them. Once, when K. wanted to thank all his soldiers, he suddenly had his driver stop in front of a supermarket. He went in, and bought ices for all his soldiers (we’re talking dozens here). This time, he wants to thank his commanders – those who he relied on during the war as orders were sent, coordinates, information.
K. called Elie and told him that the army was taking all the commanders to…ready…a day of PaintBall…..

“Didn’t you shoot enough this last month?” I joked with Elie when I heard. He just smiled…..

Now the war is over…or at least we hope it is…and so the army not only allows this downtime, it encourages it and even sponsors it. Tomorrow, Elie will run, take aim, and shoot his best shots. He’s an excellent marksman. Remind me never to go to a PaintBall session with a bunch of Israeli soldiers.

In addition to the PaintBall day, we received a letter in the mail from the head of Elie’s g’dud. It was addressed to the families and explained how important was the role artillery played in this war, giving support to the paratroopers, the tank division, Givati and Golani ground forces, and more.

And the next day, I wrote about his experience in Elie’s Team Won. And here’s the picture I found on Facebook of that day!

And one more – a picture of Elie with a friend – I cut out the friend. It was posted with something about Elie being behind bars – the bars of the humvee in this case. It protects the soldiers from stones that are thrown at their vehicles on a regular basis – stones, huge pieces of buildings, even a washing machine.

Never mind. He’s out of the army now and so I don’t have to worry…not so much anyway. He has another day of Reserve duty coming up – but it’s practice and it’s not too far.

For now, I look at the smile and the blue eyes shining and know it is enough.

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