On Thursday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz visited Givati officer Captain Ziv Shilon, the IDF soldier who was badly injured in a Hamas attack near the Gaza security fence Tuesday.
According to IDF spokespersons, Major Shilon had one thing on his mind -- being able to return to command and lead his company. The Chief of Staff replied that the only thing Shilon should worry about is his recovery and that he will be able to continue his military service once he is fully rehabilitated.
No less incredible than Shilon's determination to get back to his soldiers and continue to defend the country are the pictures that have been pouring out today of Shilon's bed covered by an oversized Israeli flag. It turns out that Captain Shilon had asked to be wrapped in the Israeli flag during his hospitalization, showing the world that even as he sat in a hospital bed, injured by enemy fire, his nationalist pride could not be weakened.
The condition of Shilon was first reported to be moderate but quickly took a turn for the worse. Yet on Wednesday Shilon regained consciousness and it was reported that his condition had improved and he was taken off a respirator.
Shilon was visited Wednesday by Southern Command Head Major General Tal Russo. Upon seeing Russo, Shilon immediatly recognized the general and saluted him with his right arm, which was mangled by the Hamas attack. Channel 10 news reported Russo was deeply moved, choking up at the gesture.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also spoke with Shilon's mother, after which he told the press "I had a very emotional conversation with Margalit, the mother of Capt. Ziv Shilon. I told her that we will do our utmost to assist in Ziv's rehabilitation. On behalf of all Israelis, I would like to convey our best wishes for Ziv's rapid recovery. Ziv, be strong; the entire nation embraces you."