Seeking to serve his country just like everyone else, Zohar officially joined the IDF. “I’ll be like everyone else,” he exclaimed.
Over the past year and a half, Zohar has been wearing a uniform, going to base, and obeying orders from his commanders, just like every IDF soldier. Finally, his dream of enlisting in the IDF came true and his friends and commanders arrived at the Tel Hashomer enlistment center to celebrate with him.
Zohar started his military service as a volunteer through the “Equality in Uniform” program, an army volunteer program for those with developmental or mental disabilities. Although he wore an IDF uniform every morning on base, his official draft date was a very special day in his military career: “It’s real now!” Zohar proudly declared. “Everything the commanders say, I’ll do, just like all the other soldiers. Everything is equal and I’ll be like everyone else.”
On Zohar’s draft day, his family held a huge enlistment party at Tel Hashomer with balloons, food, and a cake. After the celebration, Zohar stepped onto the bus with a huge smile. He saluted his friends and family, and they followed with roaring applause that filled the recruitment center.
‘Everyone who enlists is happy, but I’m the happiest’
Although Zohar wanted to immediately be drafted into the IDF, his parents thought the volunteer program would be a good way to start his military service. “Zohar wanted to draft right away and of course I was a little bit reluctant,” said Zehavit, Zohar’s mother. “So we decided to start with the program, to get a taste of what the IDF is like.”
“One day at the base, he needed an identification number that all soldiers have to gain access to the computers,” she recalled.”He came home and said, ‘Mom, I have to enlist! Otherwise I’m wasting my time.’ So we started the process.”
After seeing that Zohar was doing well, his parents contacted the volunteer department of the Manpower Branch, and within four months the draft order was sent. “We saw that it was really good for him, good for us, and good for the house. He was coming back happy,” his mother shared. “And we also calmed down a bit, realizing it was the right decision for him.”
“Zohar is one big soul,” said Major Itzik, commander of the Combat Hummer Operator Unit. “I don’t want to say that he is like an ordinary soldier because he hears that all the time. He’s already a soldier and it’s an honor to have him serve with us.”
To that end, Zohar commented, “Everyone who enlists is happy, but I’m the happiest.”
Understanding the significance of enlistment in the IDF in Israeli society, the IDF has created unique programs for special needs people, including for the the vision impaired and those on the autism spectrum.
By: IDF Blog