A day of fun for children with disabilities at the Rolling Swords Squadron
Yuval Shoham Translation: Nikolai Avrutov
N’ was born with CP (Cerebral Palsy). “The doctors said that everything is possible” recalls her father. “They told us that she suffers from brain damage, but they were not certain how exactly it will affect her. During her first years, she didn’t crawl, sit up, stand up. She didn’t do any of the things that typically developing children should do. The challenge was immense”.
11 years later, N’ is sitting at the cockpit of a UH-60A Blackhawk. Together with her friends, they explore the helicopter, take pictures, try on pilot’s helmets, and most importantly – look happy.
“These are kids with special needs and disabilities. Some of them are also victims of acts of terror” says Itzik Lobel, the foundation’s director. ‘They will not be able to join the army like everyone else does at the age of 18. To them – to see a soldier is like meeting the president. It’s a heart wish. To climb up a helicopter, is like flying to the moon.”
“We maintain an ongoing relationship with the foundation, and once a year we host them at our base” says Major Eli Amar, systems commander at the maintainance squadron. “During that day, the soldiers volunteer for the foundation, spending time with the children and organizing various activities for them. The soldiers are proud to be part of this day, and to do something so important for the community. A soldier that takes part in this activity, and volunteers for the community, is on the right path of becoming a better citizen in the future- and that’s our goal.
Beyond taking pictures on board of the UH-60A Blackhawk helicopter of the “Rolling Swords” Squadron, the children participated in various activities organized especially for them such as inflatable slides and bouncers, and music performances.
“We are delighted to see the children enjoying this wonderful day. To see them smile is everything for our volunteers” Says Itzik Lobel.
“Fortunately, we get a lot of support from various organizations, and activities of this kind take place frequently” says N’s father. “As a parent, it is important for me to get the message across to the soldiers as well: even though my daughter has certain disabilities, she is still very much able to communicate with her environment. Even though she is faced with certain challenges, she is not miserable – she is the happiest child on earth!”