If I could go back three and a half years to when I was drafted, I would make all the same choices, even if I got hit again, because I'm proud to serve my country. I'm proud to defend it.
I was totally broken. All I did was lie in bed and watch TV with everyone around me sad and feeling bad for me and I kept thinking, 'I'm never going to stand up and pee again, I'm never going to make love with my girlfriend, I'm never going to run ever again. I cried for about an hour, which is extremely rare for me, and I looked at myself and realized this was the lowest point of my life. From then on, I decided it could only get better, and I started doing the best I could to get better.
It's important to say that it is possible for [someone like me] to live an amazing life and be as happy as everyone else. Everything in the world is relative, and not being able to walk is not the worst thing.
All my life I've wanted to be a combat soldier. We live in a country where the reality isn't easy. We're fighting for our existence, and I can't say someone else is going to do my work for me. I have to go out and do my part for this country, it's my responsibility, but it's also my privilege
Avshalom (Ashi) Erez
I was talking with Elad, and we remembered that in basic training we had said we were willing to take a bullet for each other, and so that night I told him I was still willing to take a bullet for him. More people joined our conversation, including Ya'ar, and we talked about the brotherhood and friendship you can only find in the army, and then a few hours later, I got shot, and they got shot trying to save me, and Ya'ar was killed. Later, when I was in intensive care in the hospital and couldn't speak, Elad came to visit me in his wheelchair, and I wrote to him asking if he remembered that conversation, and he started crying. The only thing that kills me is that he took a bullet for me - if I could, I would take all the gunshot wounds my friends got while trying to save me on myself. Because that bond, that friendship means everything to me. It makes it all worth it