This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli army’

Swearing-in Ceremony

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 3, 2013

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My son finished basic training last week, so we went down to the swearing-in ceremony. The newly minted soldiers swear allegiance to the State of Israel and the IDF and receive a rifle and a Bible (Tanakh).

It would have been great if the ceremony had been held at the Kotel (Western Wall) or some other place central. But noooo — it was held in Ovda, about 20 miles north of Eilat. Because of work, we couldn’t arrange to take an extra day off midweek. We left the house at 5:30, traveled seven hours in each direction, on three buses, shlepping a picnic lunch and food and water for the journey, for a half-hour ceremony. The things parents do!

The scenery was spectacular. The photos aren’t the greatest because they were taken from inside a moving bus (and sometimes not even by a window).

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This photo isn’t great but the people give you an idea of the scale (two soldiers from a field camp that we passed).

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Entrance of Ovda air force base.

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Most permanent bases have their own synagogue, but this synagogue was for the basic training camp. It originally belonged to another base, which was dismantled.

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Waiting to march into the square. It was about 40 degrees that day. I was standing at the very back of the crowd, on top of a little hill. All shots were taken with an 18-135 mm lens.

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Saluting his officer

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Receiving a rifle (he won’t be carrying a rifle when he does his real army service because he’s in air force intelligence)

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and a Bible (Tanakh)

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Photos taken from the bus on the way home

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This is probably coming up to Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater), created by erosion, not a meteor.

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Posted in Israel, photography | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

My Son, the Soldier

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 7, 2013

My son the soldier

From the moment my son was born, I knew that this day would come but it’s still a shock to realise that Binyamin has reached this milestone. Last Thursday he began his mandatory three years of army service. (He’s actually in the air force, which is why he has a beige uniform with a blue belt.)

There wasn’t a ceremony, just hugs and goodbyes. We took an early bus to Ammunition Hill and arrived at 7:30 a.m. on a cold, windy day.

Givat haTachmoshet (Ammunition Hill), Jerusalem

Givat haTachmoshet (Ammunition Hill), Jerusalem

My son the soldier

His girlfriend Ayala and his friend Ori came along.

My son the soldier

Binyamin giving his name to the receptionist.

My son the soldier

My son the soldier

The lady giving out candies is a volunteer for an organization that helps soldiers. They do a lot of good work, especially for “lone soldiers” who do not have family in the country or who come from broken homes.

Organization for Soldiers' Welfare

Here’s our final view of Binyamin, leaving to join the other recruits. They boarded another bus to go to “Bakum” (absorption and assignment center) at Tel haShomer, where they received their vaccinations, were issued uniforms, kit bags, etc., and gave DNA samples and dental impressions. Sometimes the process can take a while, especially if a soldier is not happy with the assignment. In Binyamin’s case, he already had a placement, so he didn’t stay very long.

My son the soldier

He was gone for most of the day and returned in the evening in his squeaky new uniform (first photo above) for Shabbat. This morning he left early to begin his basic training in the south.

Posted in Israel, photography | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »