The IDF celebrated its Druze soldiers' day Sunday, honoring the 110,000 Druze soldiers in its ranks.
The official military ceremony was held in Carmiel, where senior members of the government and the military spoke of the community's valuable contribution to the IDF.
The IDF's Druze brigade is also to receive the Commander in Chief's Citation, for their actions in the Second Lebanon War.
"It is our duty to serve our country and we take pride in it – that's the way I was brought up and that's the way I raised my children," Riad Assad, a Druze from Beit-Jan who served in the IDF in the 1970s and now has five sons serving in the army, told Ynet Sunday.
The service, said Assad is somewhat of a way of life in his family: His eldest served is the Druze brigade as a paramedic, his second son serves in the regular army, his third son serves as a deputy company commander, his fourth son is on the last legs of his service and his fifth son just finished basic training.
"No one won the last war," said Assad. "We have to do what we can for peace, but when war is forced on you, you must live up to the challenge and defend your country.
"My dream is to see the Druze brigade turn into one of the IDF's elite brigades. The hardest battle we face is that of making peace with out neighbors," he added.
"I hope that my children and grandchildren would serve in the peace brigade of the north."