Last week, Mike Ripstein was in the US for a work conference and afterward decided to take a week's vacation for the Sukkot holiday to join his family in Miami.

"My daughter joined me on Tuesday. We had a wonderful time until Friday night, New York and Miami time, and then my daughter's phone started to ring non-stop. All her friends were looking for her boyfriend. So, my daughter, who just got out of the army a few months ago, was with me in Miami, but her friends and boyfriend all went to the music festival down south, and over the course of the next day or so it became clear exactly what was going on," he said in an interview with Israel National News-Arutz Sheva.

"Her boyfriend is still missing. We know that he sent her a WhatsApp voice message, telling her how much he loves her and that he was shot in the back of his leg. And in a typical way, he said that all will be okay."

That was the last they heard from him.

"We both got on a plane and when we landed here, we joined our friends in the army. I figured that if there's a couple of things I know how to do well, this is one of them," he said.

Ripstein continued: "Everyone has their role, especially in a small country like Israel. We're all on the playing field; each of us doing what they need to do."

"I'm already way past the age that I have to go to miluim [reserve duty], but they keep sending me the volunteer form and I'm happy to sign it so long as I can be of use.

"So, I dropped my daughter off, went home, packed a bag, and joined my unit here down South. In light of everything that's been going on over the last couple of months in Israel with the judicial reform, and the name calling and the demonizing that both sides are doing one on another, I think this is a very, very painful reminder of exactly who the demons are," he stated.

"And the demons are the ones that came screaming across the border with Gaza to just commit absolute atrocious massacres and, unfortunately, we need these reminders every now and then to really kind of like put these in perspective, but I do hope this one sticks.

"Over 1000 dead, and there could be a lot more. I do hope the lesson sticks this time and that we learned … you know, we don't have to love one another, but we could definitely learn how to get along with one another," he said.

"And hopefully, we'll do what we need to do right now. Then afterward, we learn how to be civil, at least with one another going forward.

"We are ready for any mission necessary. Over the years this unit has trained. Every year we pretty much get called up to do our do our maneuvers and the maneuvers are pretty much very similar to what we expect to be in any eventuality that happens in the next days, weeks ahead.

"So, the guys are here. They all showed up. And I just hope that the powers that be understand the force and the power of everything that they have here. There are more than 300,000 reservists showing up to do what's being asked.

"We know what's being asked. We know how to do what's being asked and we're all here to do our part," he concluded.