Captain Yisrael Yokel, an IDF reserves Deputy Company Commander, was called up twelve days as part of the emergency call up for Operation 'Protective Edge. He did not hesitate and went immediately, leaving behind his wife Tamar and five young children, who were forced to cope on their own with the rockets and sirens.
Yisrael's unit is stationed in the Eilat area, a two and a half hour drive away from his home in Yerucham. He decided to surprise his unit, and asked his wife to join him in preparing the surprise for his men. The couple owns an Out Door Training (ODT) company, Vitamin-C, a company which provides social and challenging team building activities for all ages.
Tamar joined in, making the five hour round trip, together with Ilanit Swissa, a volunteer. On her way down Yisrael called her and told her that it looked like they might have to cancel the activities, but she was determined to continue and drove on.
When she arrived she found a group of tired and gloomy soldiers, who were almost completely disinterested in what she was doing there. It took some time to get everyone involved, but by the end their spirits were lifted and the camaraderie that is at the heart and soul of unit for the IDF was restored. She left a group of energized and excited soldiers.
Daniel, from Tel Aviv, told of what he experienced:" We encountered an energetic team, who really brought us together. The soldiers were warn out by the end of the program. They really enjoyed it and came together as a unit. I thought it would be lame, but it was amazing." Another soldier, Ariel from northern Kiryat Shmoneh, shared: "We came to the activities after a sleepless night, but the activities were outstanding and got us motivated. We started off exhausted, but now we are full of energy."
The unit was treated earlier in the week to gifts and food packages from members of a community in Eilat. The families came early in the morning to present their gifts to the reserves soldiers, who left their homes to defend them.
This story is just one of numerous accounts of the citizens of Israel coming out to help and show support for their fighting men and women in the IDF. At times of crisis, all become one family.