a high cost
If you take a look at the Israeli soldiers killed so far in the first few days, the one thing that should hit you first are their ages. Many enlisted and junior officers who were born around 2003 - who have known nothing but the 21st Century.
One thing that is hard to explain to those who have not served in the military is how age is so relative. A 42 year old Brigade Commander is an “old man.” A 20 year old junior officer can be in charge of teenagers a dozen teenagers who are all that stands between the brutal reality of war and civilization.
There are no kids in the military.
So, a nation puts its young at the front. The civilian world may not allow them to rent a car, but they will ask them to do things as was asked of some family’s 20 year old daughter, Adar Ben Simon. Their daughter, but to her nation, a junior officer trusted to defend the nation and lead others to do the same.
…one of the final texts that Ben Simon sent his sister … 'Nine terrorists, running to our gates. I'm with my gun, ready and load.'
Second Lieutenant Adar Ben Simon, 20 years old, from Neve Ziv, was a platoon commander in the Home Front Command. She lost her life last Saturday when she fearlessly stormed into action to make contact with the infiltrating terrorists at her base.
"From a young age, Adar dreamed of becoming a fighter. She truly lived her dream, sacrificing her life in the process," say her relatives.
Protect the rookies
"Last Saturday, during a routine Shabbat closure at the base, Adar was among the officers leading the rookie course at Zikim. When Adar and her fellow commanders discovered the large number of terrorists infiltrating the base, their immediate priority was to protect the rookies under their command."
They swiftly secured the soldiers in shelters and prepared to confront the incoming terrorists.
"Adar fearlessly engaged in battle, fighting with all her might to eliminate the terrorists and defend her country, while ensuring the safety of her soldiers and sacrificing her own life. Together with her comrades, she fought valiantly against overwhelming odds, and thanks to their bravery, almost all the recruits returned home unharmed. We are determined to ensure that everyone knows what an incredible hero Adar was, a true Israeli heroine who gave everything for the country she loved so deeply," her relatives added.
At her funeral, her sister’s words hit home;
"On that Saturday, October 7th, I woke up to an alarm and immediately messaged you, 'Hey Adar, are you at the base? Are there alarms?' You replied, 'You can't imagine the fear. Missiles are flying above me, even landing inside the base,'" her sister recalled.
"It was the first time you expressed fear to me, and then you messaged again, saying, 'Nine terrorists are running towards us. I've got a bullet in the chamber. Shema Yisrael. We'll talk later.'
"I pleaded with you to hide and protect yourself, but you remained a hero, leading the way and shielding everyone else. 'We're in position, waiting for them,' you updated me as if you knew exactly what was going to happen. Then, at 7:38 a.m., I received your last message, 'We're in a firefight. My soldiers have been wounded.' I kept asking if you were okay, desperate for a sign, but you never replied."
"How you loved serving in the army," her sister continued. "You were a true fighter, admired and respected by everyone, even more so now.
"You were always a leAdar, the source of laughter, and the first to lend a helping hand. In your notebook, you wrote an opening speech for your soldiers with such dedication and organization that nothing escaped your attention. One sentence you wrote gave us chills: 'We will face many challenges together - difficult, joyful, funny, and maybe even painful moments. But together, we can overcome anything.'
"Adar, my one and only sister, we will hold onto those words you shared with your soldiers and try to find strength in them now."
A note about her hometown, Neve Ziv. She grew up four miles south of the Hezbollah infested Lebanese border in the hills 5 miles inland from the Mediterranean. She knew the importance of what she did.
Well done Lieutenant.