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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Lone Soldiers: Atlanta-Born Aircraft Technician Says Living in Israel ‘Settled his Soul’

Brad had to convince his commanders that his Hebrew was good enough to study for his dream job: working on fighter aircraft.

Brad had to convince his commanders that his Hebrew was good enough to study for his dream job: working on fighter aircraft.
Photo Credit: IAF Spokesperson

He graduated after three and a half months as a “model soldier” with the highest grades, and a clean accident sheet. He was assigned to a new base and, once again had to overcome people’s low expectations of how he would fare there as a foreigner.

“I would sit down and listen to them talking about how low my chances were to survive,” he said, “and I was sitting right there…”

They warmed up to him, he says, once they realized he understood their jokes.

When his parents came to visit, the camp brass went all out for them, including a Power Point presentation they prepared, about Brad’s contributions to the base.

“My mom and my dad were in tears,” he said. “Proud doesn’t describe how they felt, you’ll need a stronger word. My dad said to me: You amaze me.”

Brad is completing his regular service in two months, and he’s being courted by the Army to sign up for extended service and attend officers’ school. But he’s not staying in the military. Instead, he’s planning to visit his parents in the States, then come back and start applying for university.

His parents have helped him purchase an apartment in Hertzelia. “I now own part of the land of Israel,” he says.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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