Friday, May 04, 2007

For IDF Volunteers, it's good to be needed

For IDF Volunteers, it's good to be needed

Source: IDF

What is the one thing that makes life easier for Yehuda Lancry, whose injuries in battle have left him with a permanent paralysis? Returning to the army as a volunteer, aiding in various renovation projects as part of an Air Force workshop. "It gives me a sense of living, of being needed," Yehuda said. "I feel like a father for soldiers who need my help."

Yehuda is giving his time as part of the "Sar-El" unit, which is part of the Logistics, Medicine, and Centers Branch. "Sar-El" is an IDF unit which allows volunteers from Israel and abroad to contribute and work on behalf of the army. Among the volunteers in "Sar-El" are 114 workers from the Rehabilitative Branch of the Defense Ministry, former soldiers who were wounded during their service and are recognized as such by the government. Together with other "Sar-El" volunteers, the wounded veterans are assigned to army bases according to their qualifications for the job. The volunteers commit to work at least twice a week, eight hours each day.

In a gesture of gratitude, the IDF, for the 10th year counting, marked this past Tuesday as a special day in honor of the volunteers in the Rehabilitative Branch at the Merhatzaot Park in Hamei Ga'ash. Volunteers were also awarded certificates of thanks in addition to the festive lunch to which they were treated.

"The volunteers do work in areas where there are shortages of soldiers," said the commander of "Sar-El", Major Tiran Atia. "During the war, they helped tremendously with packing medical equipment and today they make a significant contribution with maintaining equipment in our emergency supplies reserve. We need them no less than they need us."

"We come with a great deal of love and good will," said Yitzhak Herush, a volunteer. "We don't want to be a social burden, rather we want to be needed. Some of us personally suffered a great deal, and as such this is a psychological and moral need for us to volunteer and help."

To volunteer via Sar-El please see their website at