Friday began with a trip to the Empire State Building – because what New York City trip would be complete without it? The boys then made a quick stop to B&H Photo to load up on accessories for their new Gopro video cameras, followed by lunch of traditional Israeli grub: Shwarma!
The boys then checked into their home for Shabbat, the Marriot Hotel. Over Shabbat, the boys were joined by the families and young professionals of the Chabad Israel Center community, who came out to salute our young heros.
200 people from the community gathered for services and Shabbat dinner and lunch to express their gratitude to these wounded veterans who sacrificed so much to protect the Jewish people in Israel and around the globe. Over an emotional Friday night dinner that lasted well into the night, the boys shared their combat experiences and stories of recovery.
Ron recounted his Operation Projective Edge ambush:
“During the Operation Protective Edge, we carried out a number of operations in the Gaza Strip. Once, while heading back to Israel from the Gaza Strip, enemy combatants fired a mortar shell at us, striking one of our armored personnel carriers and blasting fragments in all directions. Five soldiers died, and eight were wounded. Several fragments hit me, including one in my thyroid, another near the top of my forehead, and a third in my sclera (my vision was fortunately not affected). Significant shrapnel hit my leg, leading to the amputation of my right leg below the knee.”
Ron removed his prosthetic leg, demonstrated what it was like living with a missing limb.
After Shabbat, the boys were treated to a night on the town by several members of the community, touring Times Square and dining at Colbeh Mediterranean Grill.