Sunday, April 16, 2006

Coming home

I have just spent 2 1/2 weeks away from home doing my annual stint of Miluim (reserve duty) - returning Erev Chag with just the final arrangements to be made in terms of cleaning and kashering - kudos to the wonderful Mrs G who held the fort whilst I was away.

My Miluim was spent at a base called Yakir which is just to the West of Ariel and to the North and East of Rosh Ha'ayin. It's in the next sector over from Kedumim and we had just arrived when the pigua happened, once again a terrorist blowing himself up, murdering innocent people in the process.

In response to the attack, much of our time was spent on machsomim (roadblocks) a duty which I find particularly unpleasant, firstly as I feel like we're sitting ducks for any opportunist terrorist but secondly because the type of roadblocks which we were manning tended to be of the type where passing was not based on threat but on address; residents of Jenin and its surrounds could not pass at all; Tulkarem residents aged 15 - 30 were turned back; people were free to pass in one direction but not another or simply no passing in either direction even when it was clear for all to see that an innocent person was just trying to get home and by holding him up we just caused him to hate us. Very tough for a rational person to be told that common sense (and a good search of the vehicle) don't come into the equation at all.

Every time I go on Miluim, I'm exposed to a new part of the country and am reminded what a beautiful place we call home. Yakir and its neighbouring Yishuvim are set in hilly countryside which is currently in bloom - Olive trees coat the hillsides and the undergrowth is filled with flowers in all the colours of the rainbow - all is green and there is a feeling of renewal in the air. Yakir itself overlooks a nature reserve with a river bed running through it which is particularly picturesque (Karnei Shomron overlooks the same valley only from the North). We found out to our cost that it may be pretty, but climbing its steep gradients in Shachpodim (battle vests with heavy ceramic plates in the front and back) is certainly not to be recommended - the damn things may offer protection but they limit your movement and weigh you down.

Miluim is changing and this should be my last Miluim of this type other than in a state of emergency - I'll believe it when I see it quite frankly but won't be sorry if I can hang up my boots. We will still train and I'm pleased that I'll get to see Hanan, Eran, Chen, Sharon, Ran and all the other guys with whom I've shared these tough times with over the years. I'm proud to serve but won't mind if this is the end!

Chag Sameach,



Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Gilly - Thanks for helping take care of our neighborhood. Muchly appreciated!


Amishav said...

Keep up the good work! And I sincerely hope that you don't have to do any more roadblock duty any time soon.

Dot Co Dot Il said...

If you didn't happen to hear you are in the Cup Final!

Evan said...

Col Hakavod L'Tzahal.

Anonymous said...

welcome home safely.
Your service is much appreciated.

the sabra said...

may hashem continue to protect you. and your buddies.

Nushyman said...

ummmm... Where'd you go - not that I can talk!

Mazaltov on the big win, look out Wednesday :)