Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reserve Duty and Rockets

People sometimes write to me to thank me for posting regularly about recent rocket attacks. They tell me that they do not hear about them in the international media. CNN all but ignores the missiles unless there are casualties; BBC will report on the missiles only in a slight and buried reference to why our air force bombed a target in Gaza.

If you follow my Twitter account (@asoldiersmother), you'll see that I regularly post almost all rocket attacks. I miss some - but during waking hours...I try to take a moment and post - like the one a short time ago. I do this so that the next time Israel goes into Gaza in a full scale war, at least there will be people who know the obvious - when you shoot 25 rockets at a country in a single day, you can't expect anything but a military response.

Most rocket attacks fall in open fields. Other than the time during the war when Elie was positioned in an open field, this is a thing of relief, a thing of gratitude. Few people outside Israel realize how often these attacks occur and how disruptive they are. If the Color Red siren sounds, people in Sderot have 15 seconds to find cover. There isn't time to get to a bomb shelter - at most, children can dive for cover under their desks...and pray. People in Beersheva have a bit over 45 seconds, not much more.

Yesterday, Elie did a day of reserve duty. I dropped him off at a base where most of the unit's equipment is stored and picked him up on my way back from a client in the north. This gave me a driver as I am still trying to rest my ankle, and gave me a chance to hear about what he did. Mostly, he was filling in a day because he was minus one and with the day he did, he is pushed into another category of Reserve Duty - one that gives him a "bonus" of about 2,000 NIS that will be paid to him next year.

What's the connection between rockets and reserve duty? They come more often than you realize and interrupt life. At some point, because it happens often enough, you forget that this isn't normal, that people outside of Israel don't really live with this regularly.

Both are realities of our lives. Perhaps when there are less rockets - a euphemism of the ongoing war we have with the Palestinians and the violence they regularly direct our way instead of heading our repeated requests for  negotiation - perhaps then, there will be less reserve duty as well.

RT @AvitalLeibovich: Three rockets launched from #gaza into #Israel a few minutes ago. A total of 45 rockets and mortars since beginning of the month.#terror


ProphetJoe said...

Hmmm, 2,000 NIS is about $525. Is that a one time bonus or an annual increase?

I bet Elie is starting to think like a groom/husband and already has plans for that bonus!

Hope that ankle gets back to 100% soon! We'd like to see you dancing at your son's wedding!! (just wear sensible shoes please)


A Soldier's Mother said...

Hi ProphetJoe,

The Israeli army pays reservists for every day they serve. Their employees pay them directly and the army reimburses the employers. In addition, depending on how many days you do reserve duty, you're given a bonus. If you do 10 days, 15 days, etc.

In Elie's case, he had done 14 days so his commanding officer called him and asked him if he wanted to do one more - and the one more would get him paid not only for the day, but he'd then be eligible for the additional bonus. Which is what he did.

Anonymous said...

God bless all that serves israel.all israel sons and daughters are so very awesome.bless u all form louisiana

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