Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hearing Elie Talk

I won't write what he's saying - well, not too much. What he's doing is so incredible though. He's talking to a mother of a young man who is about to join an artillery unit in the coming months.

She's scared - 100% against him going in. She doesn't know what it means and she's struggling to understand. I was her 7 years ago. I was too dumb to think of talking to anyone else - she's clearly much smarter than I was, and she's going about it the right way.

We "met" virtually in a group and I offered her my phone number, veteran mother that I am. And what I see is that she asks all the questions I never thought to ask.

She asked me some questions - technical questions about how long and what about this, etc. that I didn't remember and Elie came upstairs and his first question was "how much doesn't he want to be in artillery?"

Her answer was that she doesn't him in 100%; and he's accepting it and even wants it a bit. Elie's first answer was, "so let him."

When I explained that she's 100% against, Elie smiled and signaled to give him the phone. He's pacing back and forth explaining everything - how I wish someone could have explained it to me back then.

I warned him to be gentle - she's a scared mother...but I guess he's had experience with that because he's going into details. "Obviously they want what's good for the army," he says, "but they also want what's good for him. They want them motivated."

And Elie just said, "I was in the same place. I had no clue. I don't think it's so much that you are afraid as that you don't know."

He's talking now (I know I said I wouldn't do this...I hope he won't kill me) - he's talking about the difference between some units and artillery ("They run up the hills, we drive up them. Why should we run up them?")

And now he's talking about the food - he's telling her about how he was able to cook noodles in a pot - inside the vehicle - I think the engine...I never heard this one. They didn't have time to make sauce, but they made the noodles, got there, and had a hot meal. So funny...I hope she's laughing.

I won't write any more - but think about where you live - would this scene happen? A soldier spending time to assure a mother that her son will have a good experience - where he will serve, what he will do on a daily basis. She lives about an hour away - we've never met. Would this have calmed me before he went in? Who knew? I started writing - maybe I should have found a soldier to talk to...

"What I've just told you is more information than they know to tell you," - the truth. He's telling her about how an officer will come and talk to him to answer all your questions, and then the boy's real commanding officer will come to her to answer all her questions and talk about her son.

Whatever they tell them will be similar to what Elie is telling them now. .

Before I put Elie on the phone, I told her that the best way she could get a picture of life as an artillery soldier (and an artillery mother) was to go back and read my blog from the beginning. After all, I said, I wrote it in real-time, versus now giving my memories from 7 years ago.

I don't know what they will decide in the end, but I am so proud of this army, this soldier and that future soldier, and that mother who had the courage to at least listen. Israel...

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