Hundreds of lone soldiers attend annual field day

FIDF (Zahal) organizes the ninth annual lone soldier field day for soldiers serving in combat positions

Date: 10/09/2011, 10:29 AM     Author: Ophir Haglili

Over 700 lone soldiers attended the ninth annual lone soldier field day, held on Tuesday (October 4) at a beach in northern Israel. Organized by the Friends of the IDF (Zahal) (FIDF (Zahal)), the day included a variety of activities such as live music shows, aquatic sports, a massage corner and even a phone station from which they can make free international calls.

“Every year during the Jewish holiday season the FIDF (Zahal) organizes three field days for lone soldiers serving in combat positions,” said Division 36 welfare officer, Maj. Karen Weiss. “They seem very pleased. The day is dedicated to them, they get support and recognition for their struggle and they feel it.”

Three American donators, Sami Brower, Mike Gross and Avi Oren subsidized the event. “The donators are incredible people,” said Brig. Gen. Moshe Alush, Adjutant Corps Commander.”They used to serve in the IDF (Zahal) as lone soldiers themselves and in the past nine years have been subsidizing these field days, constantly thinking of ways to improve for next year. During the event they also sat with the soldiers and heard some of their problems in order to assist in the future.”

The majority of the lone soldiers are teens who immigrated to Israel from abroad, some for the sole purpose of joining the IDF (Zahal).

“Every year, hundreds of lone soldiers enlist to the IDF (Zahal) and we help them with financial assistance, housing, field days and more- all to ensure their service is meaningful and effective-” explained Brig. Gen. Alush. “The immense budget the IDF (Zahal) spends on this does not get cut even during financial strain. At the end of the day, it’s the least we could do for a soldier that leaves his or her family behind and moves to Israel to contribute and serve the country.”