This week, on Tuesday August 3, Lt. Col. Dov Harari was shot to death while clearing brush on the Lebanese border during his reserve duty. He was 45 years old, a husband and a father of four children.
The following letter is translated from Hebrew. You can read the original here. It is a tribute letter to all the reservists who give of themselves so we can sleep in peace.
He awakes every morning for work. He gets organized, drops off the kids and works hard to make a living.
He’s happy when his son takes his first steps and when his daughter celebrates her bat mitzva.
He loves his family, his friends and his country. He is a man of few words and plenty of action.
A few weeks a year he leaves everything, goes to the storage room and starts preparing his bag. He cleans the dust from his shoes, puts on his uniform, says goodbye to the family and leaves for miluim (reserve duty).
He’ll call home eight times a day just to hear the kids’ voices. He does military training. He goes on missions, he does what he’s told, even as his older body makes it a little more difficult.
He loves his miluim friends. They laugh, make coffee, guard late into the night. And everything is for the country and for each other, the friends in the unit.
And then sometimes a moment of truth arrives. There is shooting and there are explosions.
And then a knock at the door.
And the wife and children answer.
And everything is changed. Forever. Nothing will ever be as it was.
Dear friends, these are the people carrying Israel on their shoulders. The reserve fighters of the Israeli Defense Force are the true heroes of the people of Israel.
Every night, as we watch TV, comfortably get into bed, somewhere is a reservist lying in an ambush or walking in a patrol and letting us all live our lives.
To our dear reservist fighters, on this very difficult night, with tears in our eyes, we want to say: Thank you.