From New Jersey to the Graduation Stage in Hatzerim First Lieutenant B’ was born in New Jersey, USA and for most of his life, he has dreamt of receiving his pilot wings from the IAF. After finishing his studies at a yeshiva in the city of his birth, he immigrated to Israel for a year, at the end of which he had a change of heart and drafted into the pilot course. Tomorrow, he will receive the pilot wings of his dreams

Lilach Gonen

For 17 years, First Lieutenant B’ dreamt from his home in New Jersey of becoming an IAF pilot. Tomorrow it will finally happen: Alongside his friends from the pilot course, First Lieutenant B’ will stand and receive his pilot wings from the Commander of the IAF, Major General Amir Eshel.

After finishing his studies at a private, overseas yeshiva in New Jersey, B’ decided that the time had come to try to make his dream come true. “I always wanted to be an IAF pilot. Prior to graduating high school, I said to myself that this is exactly the time to try, and if I don’t try now, I’ll probably miss something big in life”, says B’.

The Air Force in his DNA
Throughout his childhood B’ had heard of the State of Israel, at the same time he became interested in the world of aviation. “Already from an early age, when we were on vacation, my father would put me in the cockpit of big Boeing planes. I remember seeing a guy in a suit and a helmet on his head with buttons everywhere, it really affected me”, he explains. “My mother served in the Air Force and though we didn’t talk much about it, it seems like it’s in my DNA”.

At first, B’ came to Israel to study at the preparatory program “Evenai Eitan”, at the end of which he was supposed to go back and attend college in the America. But during his studies, he changed his mind and draft into the pilot course as a lone soldier. After a year and a half in the course, his whole family decided to join him and immigrate to Israel. “It makes me happy that my family lives in Israel”, says B’ with a smile. “I often tell myself that I don’t see myself anywhere else. As far as I’m concerned, this is the most suitable place for me”.