Parents travel to Jerusalem to see paratrooper son graduate

February 8, 2016 Agencies
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Ari Tuch got the surprise of his life when he graduated from the IDF’s Paratroopers Brigade’s arduous training course, and pledged allegiance to the State of Israel and the IDF…his parents had made an unannounced trip from Sydney to witness the ceremony at the Kotel,

“I want to serve, to keep the country safe,” Tuch declared.

Ari Toch with his parents in Israel Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon

Ari Tuch with his parents Janine and Joel in Israel     Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon

Tuch, now a private in the  IDF Paratroopers Brigade, was one of dozens of new recruits to pledge their allegiance to the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces at the Western Wall in Jerusalem last Thursday, a culmination of months of grueling training.

Tuch, 23, was also one of a handful of lone soldiers to graduate the prestigious unit’s training course, and the end of the journey spelled more than just an emotional ceremony, as it had a special surprised in store for the Australian-born soldier: His parents Janine and Joel, whom he had not seen in over six months, made the journey from Sydney to Jerusalem just to see him take his oath.

“I haven’t seen my parents and my younger brother and sister for seven months, since I came to Israel,” he said. “I was very excited when I found out my parents decided to come all the way from Australia to Israel just to be by my side at the ceremony. This is very emotional for all of us.”

Tuch told Israel Hayom he had been familiar with Israel, Judaism and Zionism since childhood. A trip to the Nazi death camps in Poland when he was 16, he said, “Made me realize I have to contribute to my country’s security, to make it strong, so the Jews will never experience another holocaust again.”

At 18, he came to Israel to study, and lived on Kibbutz Ein Hanatziv, in the country’s north. It was there, he said that he “realized it wasn’t right that while I was having fun, IDF soldiers were keeping me safe. I knew I wanted to serve, to keep the country safe.”

Tuch returned to Australia, where he earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Sydney. Shortly afterward, he decided to move to Israel and enlist in the IDF.

“I’m 23. My peers — even my commanders — are younger than me. But I don’t mind. I respect their experience and I learn from them,” he said. “I enjoy every minute and my parents are very proud of me.”

Exclusive to Israel Hayom/JNS.org

Comments

One Response to “Parents travel to Jerusalem to see paratrooper son graduate”
  1. Julie Paul says:

    Mazel Tov Ari. You’re a hero!

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