After countless emergency authorizations and drills, after meeting and talking with so many soldiers in preparation for this moment -- we have returned to Gaza.
I felt a sense of pride in my role, which is so important particularly in these moments. I now understand: it is now me who is teaching them to fight and to be prepared to defend our people.
Now, as my soldiers leave me, it is only they, the soldiers, who will remain, with the tools and the knowledge I have given them in going to war. After all this training, I'm overcome with a mixture of emotions that I cannot ignore, a storm of tension and fear for all the soldiers I've instructed.
When I stop for a moment, I recall that my best friends are over there now. And this time, it's my generation that fights for our country, not my ancestors nor my grandfather nor even my father.
There's my best friend from 1st grade in elementary school, who's a fighter in the paratroops corps. We have planned, and are still planning, so many trips together.
There's another dear friend of mine, in the Givati brigade, who always entertained me for as long as I knew him.
There's the guy who pulled my braids in school and I hated him. Seems to me he's in the Nahal brigade.
It's the boys we love, the heartthrobs we always dreamed would be ours, the funny guys, the irritating guys, the short ones and the tall ones. It's the majority of my class.
They're all there.
A whole generation that's fighting for this country—for all of us to live in security and be free. It is this whole generation that is putting its life in danger, like the previous generations and those that will follow.
All I want is for all of them to come home safely.
At the end of the day, these are the people who make up our lives. We need nothing more than them.