Over the weekend, Elie and I talked a bit about what he's doing and plans for the upcoming months. His birthday is coming up at the end of the month. He'll be 22 years old. He told me he plans to ask for the day off.
"Tell me if you want to do something, go somewhere special," I told him. Maybe we'll take him to the Dead Sea or the Sea of Galilee - or the Red Sea - anywhere that he wants to just have some fun.
There was no real explanation about why I couldn't reach him last week, no deep secret missions he told me about. As I suspected he would, he regularly includes himself in the schedule of patrols.
"You know, you could sit back and not take so many patrols," I said to him at one point, knowing it wasn't something he'd really consider.
"It's boring," he told me.
Elie is too young to understand that boring is perhaps, a soldier's mothers favorite word in the whole wide world.