When one imagines reserves service in the IDF, the first association that comes to mind is not mothers, children, and pregnancy. But Hila Yerushalmi and Keren Ivgy, both six-months pregnant, are smashing this assumption and are currrently performing their military service in the Paratroopers' Division.
In an interview with Ynet on Wednesday morning from their army base, they explained, "It doesn't mean anything. There are obligations to the state and to the army, no matter if you're pregnant, with kids or without kids."
Both of them chose to serve beyond their mandatory service requirements, and this may have rendered their transition to the status of reservists smoother. Yerushalmi said, "Beyond that, I really see it as a kind of mission. I also see it as a role model and a personal example for my kids. I have two children and a third on the way."
Did you consult with doctors if you're permitted to perform your service during your pregnancy?
Ivgy answered, "No. I don't think that it's something that you need to check on. It's like going to work in the morning. Just in a uniform and on an army base."
Yerushalmi replied, "I serve as an adjutancy officer. The whole issue of women, we always hear about it out: women who are developing their careers, women in the army, women in reserves—it's all the same to me. Pregnancy is not a disease, as the cliché goes. It's not a factor for me.
Ivgy added, "I'm even proud to walk around here while pregnant."
Is reserve service considered these days, unfortunately, as something for suckers?
Ivgy replied, "I don't agree with that. Doing reserves is certainly not being a sucker. It doesn't even belong in the same sentence. I'm proud to serve in the reserves."
Yerushalmi agreed, "As a civilian, I manage volunteering in Ramla (which is) a model of coexistence and volunteering. So I believe that volunteering is of supreme value in all areas of life. I see this as a value of personal and national significance. I think that volunteering is a contagious disease."