On The Border

View of the army car behind us on the border. I see this every day, just not behind me!!

Well, lots to tell. I don't know if I should start with my trip to the US and A or start now and work backwards. The long and short of it is I have lots to tell and not
enough time.

On Tuesday all the girls in my team went on a tour of the line... our part of the line. We have had these tours before, but never like what we did this time. We usually see a very large portion of territory, that cover many cameras and teams, so there is a lot we see that has no connection to our specific territory. But, what we did this time was took a tour of not only our territory, but we got to go on the actual border and see it up close and personal. I really have no idea how they got all the clearance because no one but the fighter soldiers are supposed to be on the boarder.

It extremely dangerous to be that close to Lebanon. There are houses just a matter of meters away and right now the threat for uprising is very great. Actually I was sure we wouldn't go that day, because during my night shift we had specific directions to watch only one town because we were told there many be some Hezbollah activities.

Now I side story/note: There is a thing in that army called "signing keva" This occurs not to everyone but if conditions are right a soldier at the end of their service maybe get the opportunity to sign a few months more. If they sign they get a great salary for the time they are in keva.

Army salary is shitty in Israel, there is not nice way to put it. I can not complain because I get more money because I am a lone soldier. But for example the average male soldier will get something like $60 a month if they are not combat and $100 if they are combat. I get something around $200 because not only lone soldiers get more but I get the salary of a combat soldier because I am in a dangerous zone and doing work that is semi-combat. A person like me if I sign keva I get more than a thousand dollars while in keva.

So after I came back from the US I knew I only had about a week of regular army and then I would go on my "vacation before liberation". I returned from the US and A in the mind set that I was done, time to start life here. I was very excited.

Its a funny named vacation, Translated to English its: vacation before liberation. At first I thought it was a stupid idea to have a vacation right before you finish, but actually it is really smart. From the side of the soldiers that have been in that army 2 to 3 or more years, it is a little bit of an easing out of the army. You have a little vacation, then return all your things and do all the signing out. From my perspective as a lone soldier without family, it is a good amount of time to start figuring out what next ie, where to live, job and what not.

Back to the story: So one of commanders asked me if I would consider signing for 2 months. From the start I said no that I wasn't interested. And also I was pretty sure it wouldn't be something I was eligible to do. Why? Because after all, I was the one drafted for 2 full years of service and then requested to have my time dropped down. So now How could I possible legitimately sign on for me. How convenient to stay longer when there is money involved. So I told her to really check it out to be sure. The next day my officer came to me. Yes I can do it and do I want to. I told her I didn't think so. "I'm ready to start my life here. I've been here two years and haven't worked, not that I've done nothing but I am just ready to be a normal person here".

But its a good opportunity for you, she said, especially since you are a lone soldiers about to finish the army and haven't worked for two years.

Two thousand dollars isn't a lot in US terms for two months of work. But here it is, especially for someone my age, a new immigrant, and just starting out in the work world. And mind you it is money in full. No taxing. And I have no where to spend it. How can I spend money in that army, I'm never home. And I don't pay rent, don't pay for food while in the army only when I get out on weekends, and I don't pay for transportation (soldiers ride buses free in uniform) So when I get the money it will be in full, not squandered here and there.

So after much thought, and many people telling me (are you retarded, this is a killer opportunity, you would be mad not to do it). I signed. Its two more months. 60 days. I only have 4 more weekends in the army. Everything will stay the same. I get out the same (9 days in and 5 days home), I work the same job. I just get money in the end.

Back to the day on the border. I thought to my self: Self this would have been the ultimate send off for finishing my sevice. Be on the border see everything, and then go home for good. But its not terrible, two more months.

Me and Jen, left and Nina. Nina is half Korean and half Polish and her parents met in Russia so she speaks Russian. One of the wierder combinations of places to originate in this country. But the mix turned out great, she is one of the most beautiful girls I have seen. And Jenina was born in Syberia and came to Israel at the age of two. She is so pretty too (although you can't tell from the picture) I would discribe her looks has half Kirsten Dunst half Michelle Phiffer) She has the most fierce blue eyes.

This Is a picture of my commanders and officer. My commander is the girl on the right side, her name is Muria, but everyone calls her "kochinit". That's because her family is from a place in India called Kochine and most Jews that immigrated from India are from Kochine. My commander is the girl all the way on the left. Her name is Rita and she just begame a commander. She taught me most of my training on the camera and was a very hard and strict teacher.

This is a far off view of one oft he main towns I am watching in Lebanon. Isn't a nice view? Looks pretty calm from here...

Here you have a view of half Lebanon (on the left) half Israel and the fence and in teh distance is one of the biggest camera stations we have.

Veiw from inside the armored truck looking out the back

Soldier closing the gate behind us as we go into resticted territory!

A United Nations base right on the border with Israel

A machine gun!

When the soldiers are on the border one of them stands up out of the truck with a machine gun. This is him. We got to see him load and unload the gun (pretty manly, man)

And here he is talking on the two way radio.

Bump-ity bump bump. It was a rocky trip but a lot of fun!

In Israel, view of har dov, the hermon and inot the border with Syria.