Hello, my name is Tzvi. I recently finished my military service of 6 years in Shayetet 13, the Israeli navy seals.

Back in February 2013, I began my qualifications course. That week was one of the hardest weeks of my life, during which many give up the dream of becoming a fighter in Shayetet.

The night of my final assignment was especially hard; it was the peak of the winter in Israel. The rain would not stop coming down. The wind would not stop blowing and the sea water felt like ice. While swimming, I felt like I could not go any further; the sea felt like one big ice bath, my body was cramped, and I could barely move my legs inside the water.

I decided to gather what was left of my strength and continue. I finished the mission successfully and the sun came out. This is when I knew, the road ahead is still far, but I was going to be a fighter in the naval commando.

The life of an IDF soldier is not easy. I would like to thank you for supporting us, the soldiers, through FIDF. FIDF contributes greatly to our welfare. Thanks to you, when my team and I fought in Gaza, we received packages proving you are always there with us even during challenging times. Thanks to you, a year ago, we inaugurated a new swimming pool for Shayetet soldiers.

This past month, I had the privilege of participating in FIDF galas across the United States. In all the events, small or big, I got to see a united Israeli nation, people who truly care, people who only wish to give us the best feeling and show us that we are all one family and want the best for the State of Israel. It was touching to see the variety of people – Jews and Christians, Caucasians and African Americans, old and young, all with one thing in common: their love for IDF soldiers.

Know that your work is seen and cherished by all the IDF soldiers.

With gratitude,

Tzvi.