Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Israel – CCLX. My Military Career (3 of 5)

You will not be surprised to hear that I quickly became a thorn in the side of the sergeant and some “volunteer” recruits.  For the first 5 days I went from problem to problem.

First thing in the morning, we were supposed to have a short run, but I quickly became winded and had to rest, or abandon the running altogether.  The sergeant looked the other way.

I had befriended two conscripts that occupied beds adjacent to mine: Yair and Gad; they were both kind and helpful to me; they told me many times:  “ata titragel” (you’ll get used to it).  And indeed it was beginning to happen.  For their kindness, the sergeant “rewarded” them with an added assignment:  “look after him!”

At the end of a short march, I would get totally exhausted; but here again, I was beginning to get used to it.

For my first long march, the sergeant had to carry my equipment; the other soldiers were too loaded to carry additional weight.

At target practice, I was shocked when I was asked to use my rifle!  My expression said it all:  “Am I really expected to do that?”  The instructor sarcastically pointed out that I needed a weapon to defend myself, and that therefore I should learn how to use it.  But at least, for that first lesson, I did not consent to even point at the target, let alone shoot at it.  I was loath to handle any firearm.

That same night, an officer woke me up to ask me the serial number of my rifle.  I told him in no uncertain terms that first of all I did not know that the rifle carried a serial number, and that now that I knew, I had no interest in memorizing that number.  I was not disciplined, presumably because the army had enough problems with me, and didn’t need to add one more.

Whatever the case, it was made clear to me that this was now my weapon (I had signed for it), that I should be familiar with it, and that I should learn how to use it.

Food was another problem.  It was abundant, but it was neither tasty, nor attractive to look at; it was simply plopped on the plate.  I did not eat much of this food; I survived on wafers and soft drinks which I bought at the canteen; nor was I the only soldier who subsisted on such an unhealthy diet.

A measure of routine is necessary for any human; without it you can go insane.  But how can you stick to any routine when you’re riding a merry-go-round that refuses to stop.  War is such a situation, and your military training prepares you for that.  But there were breaks; so let us look at some of them.

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