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Special IDF New Years’ Greeting for ‘Lone Soldiers’

A US “lone soldier” in the IDF represents 149 comrades and exchanges New Year’s blessings with the Air Force commander.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/26/2011, 9:37 AM

Israeli and American flags at IDF base
Israeli and American flags at IDF base
IDF

An American “lone soldier” in the Israel Air Force headed a 150-man delegation of comrades and exchanged New Year’s blessings with the Air Force Commander Sunday. In addition to the Air Force soldiers, approximately 450 other immigrants without families in Israel are serving in the IDF, most of them having arrived on the “Tzabar” program.

"I enlisted to the IDF because I couldn't live my comfortable American life knowing that Israelis my age are fighting for the existence of the Jewish people," said Zach for the New Year, which begins Wednesday evening.

"The fact that we, here in the IDF, are raising a glass for lone soldiers over 60 years after the founding of Israel, is both powerful and indicative of the army's purpose as a shield for the Jewish people,” he added.

Zach, 24, serves in the 669 Search & Rescue Unit and lives in Jerusalem.

The lone soldiers in the Air Force were accompanied by their commanders and personal affairs staff to the Air Force House to meet with the Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan.

The Commander also awarded more than 30 officers with certificates of excellence.

Almost 20 non-commissioned officers will receive the rank of Chief Warrant Officer rank and more than 20 Majors in regular service and reserve duty will receive the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.