Oren Almog
Oren AlmogIsrael news photo: IDF/HOT

Oren Almog says he serves in the IDF “like everyone else.” There are a few differences: Terror cost him his eyesight – and five relatives.

A suicide bombing attack at Haifa’s Maxim restaurant in 2003 killed 16 people in addition to Oren’s father, brother and other family members. He went blind while being treated for his wounds.

He obviously is exempt from the draft but insisted on enlisting in the armed forced and being like most other Israelis – and now he is a soldier n the IDF. He is a volunteer soldier in an intelligence unit, the name of which cannot be disclosed.

Last week pledged his loyalty to the IDF while walking up to the ceremonial stage unassisted by either a walking cane or a seeing-eye dog. The audience applauded – and cried.

“As someone who was hit pretty hard by terrorism I am proud to serve an organization that aims to protect the security of Israel, to prevent terrorism, and to protect its residents,” he said later.

“I want my father and grandfather to be proud of me,” he said. “I was raised by them to serve; if I had not enlisted I would feel a very big missed opportunity. I am proud that I’ve decided to undertake this trying task, and contribute back to the state.”