Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Well, That Didn't Go Right...

Each unit or division has an elite branch that is responsible for...well, doing stuff. Don't ask me what because if I even knew, I'd have to either lie or...what's that saying, "if I told you, I'd have to kill you"? Well, I'm not into killing - despite the silly rantings of some fools, I don't even kill bugs (except mosquitoes). And since I'm blessed with ignorance, let's just say the elite units do elite stuff.

Some units have "try-outs" before the young men enter the army and others open them up in the early days, taking boys that have been drafted to the elite branch's main division. So, some of Davidi's friends decided to try out - and they'll know the results soon.

David called a few minutes ago - they're given an hour to shower, prepare for the next day, and call their parents. There's not much to say - it's a quick call. No, it didn't rain today; no, it isn't very cold. Tomorrow or in the coming days, they'll go out on their first "masa" - or march. It will be only a few kilometers, they'll walk, not run, and they'll be carrying a lot of excess weight in the form of equipment - they'll also be getting guns (but no bullets) in the coming weeks.

I asked him about the elite units...and that when he told me one of his friends tried out for it but got hypothermia. Um...what??? Yes, apparently he did and was taken to the hospital. Um...what?

Is he okay?

"I think so," Davidi said, "I haven't spoken to him yet - he's still in the hospital."

Well, all that is totally not reassuring. Didn't he just tell me it wasn't that cold?

Last week, they had the boys clean up the smoking corner - I find that particularly disgusting and I'm happy to report that so did David. Smoking is a huge problem in the army but I'm desperately hopeful that the lessons of a lifetime (so far) will prevail. David knows that we are against smoking.

He also spent on day working in the kitchen - cleaning up, scrubbing down the grease. He hated that too but he understands what the army is doing - it's all part of the same message. You're in the army now...you will follow orders and do what your commanding officers say.

The supply captain in many units has an assistant to help with the various responsibilities of making sure the unit runs smoothly and has all it needs. In David's case, the supply captain doesn't have an assistant so he drew a picture of a soldier on his wall and told the new soldiers when they come in the room, they have to salute his "assistant." This too, Davidi takes with a smile.

All in all, he's doing well. He even let me take his picture just before he got on the bus Sunday. You can tell by his expression that he finds this all just a bit entertaining. 

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