Gilad's army friends have completed their army service and left the army - Gilad still serves the state of Israel, though after three years, it is unlikely Hamas has left him much of the physical uniform he was wearing on the day he was attacked and dragged across into Gaza.
Someone asked - what have you done in the last three years? How has your life changed while Gilad has been held prisoner? Not once has the Red Cross managed to see him, not once was he allowed to talk to his parents, not once have his parents been told without question that he is alive and well.
What have I done in the last three years?
- My daughter got married and I welcomed my son-in-law into our family.
- Two of my sons finished high school.
- One son started a post high-school program and will enter the army in March.
- One son was bar mitzvahed.
- One daughter went to first grade, and second, and third.
- We sold a house.
- We bought a home.
- One dog died, we got another.
- We got a bunch of birds - five more were born in the house.
- I bought two new cars, sold one older one.
- One adopted son got married and now has a baby girl.
- And one son went into the army, completed his basic and advanced training, and became a commander and now a First Sergeant.
Along with someone else I have never met (@carolw), a campaign was started this week to try to bring world attention to Gilad. It's silly really, in the scope of nations and powers...what can we do? Well, we are tweeting. See, I told you it would be silly. We are typing 140 character messages asking people tomorrow to think of Gilad, pray for him, and tweet with the #Gilad hashtag that tallies the numbers and rates them.
- We're trying to get #Gilad to #1 trending topic on Thursday - 3 yrs since he was kidnapped! Please RT
- On Thursday, PLEASE change your avatar for one day to FREE GILAD avatar #Gilad http://twitpic.com/81e6a
- To tweeps w/ 10,000+ followers-pls tweet for young Israeli soldier kidnapped 3 yrs ago by Hamas - pls RT #Gilad
- We really appreciate your help in tweeting for Gilad. #Gilad is the hashtag we are all united in using. Free Gilad
- Tomorrow, 3yrs since #Gilad Shalit kidnapped
- R U free 2day? #Gilad isn't. Did U speak 2 yr mother? Gilad cnt. Did U kiss yr son? Noam& Aviva Shalit cnt! Gilad -3yrs
- Dear Jon and Kate - please get divorced next week; we need #Gilad to be #1 tracking on Thurs.
- Dear IranElection - many Israelis have supported your hopes and dreams; pls support ours. Please tweet for #Gilad tom'w.
- Outlook 2010 they're messing up our attempt to get #Gilad to #1 on trend tracking. Can't they do it next week? We need Thurs for Gilad.
There is no where else I would want Elie to be - at least today, at this moment but home for when he is here and in the army for when he is not. I love what it has done for him, what he has become because of it.
But today my heart aches for Aviva and Noam Shalit. I can't imagine not seeing Elie, not getting a hug or giving him a kiss for more than a few weeks. God, how can they manage three years and still be able to speak? What amazing strength they have, what pain, what anger.
Please God, please bring Gilad Shalit home - safe and healthy and soon.