Blogger.com has indicated that this post represents my 100th entry, allow me to issue a "holler at ur boy" with zeal over the internet loudspeaker. The pages of Euphoria is now centenial, and I can only hope that the US treasury will mint a coin to be sold on QVC...one with Arnold Schwarzeneggers face on one side, and a pirate ship on the other. If someone feels like leaving a comment on this, please reply with how you would design a coin that would commemorate your existence.
It is quite appropriate that for my 100 entry, I find myself in a situation of extreme interest, at least to me. It has been at least 18 months since I have found myself in a situation of such counter (american) culture, the only thing coming close in comparison was my time on an animal reserve in the Ecuadorian Jungle.
Dear friends, for the last 6 days, I have been volunteering on the Khetziot military base, in service of the Israeli Defence Force, or Tsava Hagana Layisrael. I would write out the name in Hebrew, but annoyingly, the function is turned off at the current computer terminal from which I am writing from. The base is about an hour south of Gaza, right on the Isareli-Egyptian border.
I arranged the volunteer placement about 5 days before the Israel began checking the actions of Hamas in the Gaza strip. Notice my tone of voice, which I wish other reporting news stations would adopt as well. How sheerly insane it is to find myself on an Israeli military base, organzing spacious hangers of old military equipment, packing kit bags for soldiers, and other tasks that take the status quo in their sites, and obliterate it like the most hostile of targets. I sleep on an uncomfortable cot, with other dudes who snore like their playing shitty trumpets, and eat three square meals a day with a mish mash of young M16 toting Israeli youth canvassed in olive green. All the while I simply try to make sense of just what the hell I am doing.
Although I do hear gun fire and bomb concussions reporting back frequently during IDF training and my base is about an hour south of Gaza, I am relatively safe. My only worry is packing on pounds due to the unexpected goodness of base food. For our service, we volunteers get those three meals a day and place to sleep. And it is nice to get those daily requirements free of charge, as Israel has proven to be fucking expensive if I may be frank. However there is a kind of emotional or mental payoff as well. Sort of. In a minute and microscopic way, I am giving service to the state of Israel, giving my support to the lone nation of the Jewish faith, and that feels good. We are performing tasks in aide of the IDF, in fact directly in support of reserve soldiers. I will go into further detail of what we do in the next post.
One of my favorite sayings, one that for whatever reason plays in my mind often is "all is fair in love and war." I have done some ridiculous things when under the influence of the former, and I am getting first hand experience of the latter now. And without assigning justification, I feel like the phrase rings true. Hamas is a terrorist group that needs to be dealt with, and they have left Israel no choice but to answer with military force. However innocent people are also losing their lives. It has been sobering yet educational experience thus far, which I know will get more intense. A happy and safe new years to everyone, you are all in my thoughts. Peace in the real sense, J.