Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Army

Bright and early this morning I set off with the boy to visit the Lishkat HaGiyus (the main army center for soldiers entering the army) at Tel HaShomer. We had no real idea why he had been called back again, but this time he was to be accompanied by a parent. This is the third or forth time he has been summonsed. His shrinks think he should not enlist and should volunteer instead, but we were waiting to hear what the army thought. We rocked up a half an hour early and I was allowed into the sacred courtyard after having to go back to the car with my Swiss Army knife. The army does not like Swiss Army Knives on the base. We waited outside with the parents who's kids were enlisting today, it was strange to watch the mix of pride and sadness that everyone seemed to feel as the waved goodbye to their kids. Anyway we were finally let into the building and pointed to room 111.

They have these fancy screens outside each room that are supposed to tell when it's your turn, but they are not working, so they resorted to the age old trick of sticking a sheet on the door for you to write your name. All the while there are 18 year old kids walking up and down, taking charge and making decisions. I couldn't help getting the feeling that it's like those days at school when the pupils are allowed to run the show. We waited and not much later, we were called into room 111. We were first - Oh the joy that our last name begins with an aleph in Hebrew.

Dr. Shai, is an adult. He was sitting in a room with 4 young girls, all taking notes. He gestured us to sit down without looking up from the boy's file. When I told him the boy only spoke English, he re-asked his question in a soft barely audible voice. The boy answered. He asked me a question in Hebrew. I answered. He took out a pad, circled something, stamped and signed, asked the boy to sign and bam! that's it. The boy is out the army. "He wants to volunteer", we both said at the same time. Dr. Shai pointed us to Room 7. There we waited while the young lady goomied (mopped) the floor and complained that she could not work because the AC was broken. A young lad came by, flipped the main switch and saved the day. We got the volunteering info, and an explaination while standing in the hall because the rooms was still too hot, and then we left. All this took about 40 minutes. Not your father's IDF, I say. This changes things a bit, I say.

1 comment:

mart said...

As I read this post, I got this visual of Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant.
"I wanna KILL. I wanna see blood and guts and veins in my teeth."
"Son we need boys like you"