The soldier's family sat outside the recovery room waiting for any news on his condition. "We got word at 5:30 am when the town officer knocked on the door. It was a very bad feeling," said the mother.
The wounded, who lives in a community in Jezreel Valley, was proud of his military service. According to his family, the schools in the area also held the military service of their alumni in high esteem.
A soldier being evacuated (Photo: AFP)
"The education in valley is very patriotic, an education for people who contribute to the country. This is the atmosphere that guides the children. All of the kids know and understand that no one else is going to protect our country," A. said.
The soldier's friends, who were sitting on the floor of the hospital waiting room, nodded in agreement to what the mother's statement. "He didn’t like to talk about his military service. He always said that there was nothing to tell, but we know that he is a good soldier and wish him health and happiness," they said.
"First of all health," the mother interjected. "We are trying to stay optimistic. Friends are calling; everyone wants to help. Everyone is worried about him."
One of the friends noted that though most of them identify with the left of the political map, they all supported the operation in Gaza.
'More afraid for the soldiers'
Shoshi came from Ashdod to Beersheba to visit her wounded son, who is also serving in Golani. "Our heart goes out to everyone," she told ynet. "I hope everyone comes home safely, that there won't be any more wounded, an that other families won't have to withstand this suspense and anxiety that we are going through."
Shoshi's son was lightly injured by shrapnel in his hand that necessitated he undergo surgery.
"All in all he was in high spirits. He is worried about his friends, those who are still in the Gaza Strip," said the mother. "I hope the operation won't be a long one because I am worried about all the soldiers."
Shoshi, who has also experienced life under constant rocket attacks said that she is less afraid of the rockets than she is for the soldiers. "We are ready to take the hits, just as long as it's quiet. I think that all the soldiers are our emissaries and are protecting us."
The Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba has opened a hotline at 972-8-1255177 from any phone. For those hard of hearing, the fax is 972-8-6244434
Ilana Curiel contributed to this report