Click here to watch Fox29's story about FIDF's Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey Chapter Annual Tribute Dinner

A local man who is serving with the Israel Defense Forces surprised his parents Wednesday night.

Amir and Stacey Goldman of Merion Station got a huge surprise in front of 800 others. Their son, 21-year-old Matan, who with about 3,000 other American young men and women is serving in the Israel Defense Forces. He's been soldier in the Army there for more than a year.

Wednesday's fundraiser by the local chapter of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces raises money to help soldiers like Matan with college scholarships and living expenses.

And, unbeknownst to the Goldmans, they flew Matan home for Wednesday's event.  

Lone Soldier Surprises Parents

Part of his childhood was spent in Israel. What makes him want to serve?

"I definitely felt more of a purpose in being in the Army and really defending the Jewish people," he said.