“The biggest dreams you have, that’s where you need to go”

Meet Chaim – He grew up in a Yiddish-speaking Haredi community in New York, and says that his family members didn’t understand his decision to join the army. “They’re not against it, but they don’t understand,” he says. But Chaim is proud to be here, and his conviction as an IDF member serving in the Golani unit is strong.

“Somebody has to do it,” he says about military service. “We just need it. I wish there weren’t wars, but the fact is, there are.”

For Chaim, getting to the end of every day and every week is a fulfilling accomplishment. The Lone Soldier Center has been a definite help to him during the six months he’s spent so far in the service. He particularly credits Tziki Aud, who helped him find the apartment he’s soon to be moving into. He also says it’s good just to be interacting with other lone soldiers and bonding over the ways they get through the day-to-day issues chayelim bodedim confront.

Chaim was able to provide guidance to a Lone Soldier Center’s Aardvark volunteers, Rachel, who plans on joining the IDF in the upcoming months.

“The biggest dreams you have, that’s where you need to go,” Chaim advised her. “The happier it will make you feel in the army. If you join the army, you want to feel good every day. Talk to as many people as you can. On every bus I got on before I joined the service, if I saw a soldier, I asked a million questions, just to see how the army was. Get to know as many people as you can. Look at the big picture. There are going to be tough days, but in the end, it’s enjoyable.”

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