Fulfilling a hero's dream: parents of fallen soldier make Aliyah

Sgt. Nathaniel Young left London to join IDF of deep passion for Israel and fell near Zikim on October 7; honoring his wish, his parents relocate to Netanya; 'Nathaniel bravely and determinedly fulfilled his dream of defending the State of Israel,' they say

"His deep love for the country and unwavering commitment to its defense instill in us a sense of immense pride amid our profound sorrow. From the warmth and support, we felt from thousands at the funeral and during Shiva, we realize that Israel is our new home," shared Shontel and Nicky Young, parents of late Sergeant Nathaniel Young, 20. Their son, a brave soldier from Golani's 13th battalion, tragically lost his life in the battles on the dreadful Saturday of October 7.
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Nathaniel, the youngest of five children in the Young family, hailed from London. His parents are well-respected figures in the London Jewish community, having dedicated many years to its enrichment and fostering a strong bond with the State of Israel.
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Nathaniel and his parents
(Photo: Sent by Itamar Eichner)
Roughly two years ago, Nathaniel, fueled by his profound affection for Israel, told his parents that he was leaving Britain. Following the footsteps of his siblings - Gabi, Daniel, and Elliot, he decided to immigrate to Israel to join the IDF. His parents stayed back in London with his sister, Miriam. In Israel, Nathaniel found joy in creating music, DJing at parties, and most importantly, spending time with his four beloved nieces - two daughters each of his sister Gabi and brother Elliot. "He devoted every moment outside of his military service to his nieces," Elliot reminisced.
At 18, Nathaniel joined the IDF and quickly became an exemplary soldier in the 13th Battalion of the Golani Brigade. His comrades spoke highly of his deep love for Israel. On October 7, when Hamas terrorists launched a massive attack on the border communities, Nathaniel and his friends fought back but he tragically fell in a battle near Zikim. In response to the family's request, thousands attended his funeral at Mount Herzl, honoring the memory of the lone soldier.
Nathaniel's parents were in their London home when they received the heart-wrenching news of their son's demise. They immediately embarked on a journey to Israel to attend his funeral. The mourning period was spent in Jerusalem, in the home of their son, Elliot. Samantha Robinson, a family friend from their childhood and a representative from the Jewish Agency, mentioned that during the mourning period, they were comforted by thousands who came to express their condolences and showered them with love.
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The late Nathaniel Young
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Following the period of mourning for their son, Shontel and Nicky made a return trip to Britain. However, this time, their purpose was to pack their belongings and immigrate to Israel. "We had always contemplated immigrating to Israel, and a few months ago, we even initiated the immigration process with the Jewish Agency. However, we hadn't yet actualized our dream of moving," they revealed. "Nathaniel was eagerly awaiting our move to Israel. We didn't get a chance to reunite with him in Israel before he was killed in battle. But now, we're fulfilling his wish by moving to the country he fiercely loved and defended."
Approximately two weeks ago, the parents finalized their immigration to Israel and moved into their new home in Netanya. "We feel the need to be in the place where our son lived, and in the country he fought for," Shontel, the mother, expressed. "Nathaniel bravely and determinedly fulfilled his dream of defending the State of Israel. His memory fills us with immense pride, and his absence leaves a deep void."
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