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Dead Soldier 'Found Happiness' in the IDF

Moving words of David Gordon, 'lone soldier' from US found dead Tuesday, reveals how he was inspired after joining the IDF.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/19/2014, 9:56 PM

David Gordon
David Gordon
Israel Police

The inspiring words left behind in the blog of IDF soldier David Menachem Gordon (21), who was found dead Tuesday after going missing Sunday, suggest that if his death was an act of suicide, it was not the result of depression caused by his army service.

Writing on his Facebook page after leaving Gaza on July 25, Gordon wrote "unbelievably overwhelmed, not from this mission but from the support and messages of encouragement from family, friends and strangers. I am OK and I've never felt more loved. Thank you all!"

A June 4 entry from his blog, written shortly after he completed his advanced combat training in the Givati infantry brigade, was subtitled "how the army helped my find happiness."

Noting his feelings after completing the training, Gordon wrote "it was grueling but I persisted and even through my exhaustion, flames of honor burned in my chest. I was damn proud of myself."

The young soldier went on to state how his passionate love of writing had been temporarily paused during the training, but went on to record how that night he overcame a half-year of writer's block in a great rush of joy.

"All is for pleasure or the absence of pain. Sounds hedonistic, I know, but even religious folks who fantasize about their afterlife when they die are expecting a heavy dose of the world’s favorite pastime: feeling great!" wrote Gordon.

Gordon continued "thanks to once-booming economies and a technological revolution, many vices and devices these days are quicker, stronger and easier to acquire...except when we become desensitized to it all  -  then we feel dead."

In the midst of a world of over-stimulation to events and the feelings they accompany, Gordon noted "if the military has taught me anything it’s to appreciate the small things as well as things I had previously taken for granted. With all luxuries limited as of late, I have a new appreciation for everyday gifts like hot showers, tasty food, human connection, entertainment and even freedom."

"Surprisingly, the army’s limitation of all these things has transformed me not only into a reflexive warrior but, in many ways, a happier person. ...Every tune is magic. Every kind pair of eyes is adored. Every uninterrupted night’s sleep with my boots off is a miracle," continued Gordon.

Before his army service, Gordon volunteered at “Magen” a Child Protection Agency operating in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

On Tuesday Gordon was found dead with his weapon beside him; the circumstances of his death are being investigated by military police.

A "lone soldier" from Ohio, Gordon was last seen Sunday at the Tzrifin base where he received dental treatment at a Medical Corps facility. He was scheduled to return to the city of Holon, but when he did not return a search ensued, only to uncover tragic results.