The Story of
Photographed with Ron Huldai
"I served as a soldier in the Nachshon Battalion, I was wounded on the fifth night of Chanukah, 2005.
I was part of a patrol team that received warnings that terrorists were planning to carry out an attack at one of the holiday shows. Following the warning, we set up a temporary checkpoint at the exit from Tulkarm, and my commanders Uri and I stood at the checkpoint to check vehicles entering Israel from Tulkarm. During the inspection, a Palestinian taxi with 8 passengers arrived at the checkpoint. We checked the taxi passengers and took them all out to make sure that nobody was armed. One of the passengers in the taxi was wearing a leather jacket so we demanded that he take off his jacket and while removing it, he pressed a button and detonated a 30kg improvised explosive device.
I was seriously injured all over my body, and I was evacuated from the scene in critical condition. I got to the hospital with almost no blood left in my body. They resuscitated me and gave me many blood infusions. In the end, they managed to save my life. After a year and a half, I finished the physical rehabilitation, but soon I discovered that I had rejoiced too quickly. A few years later, I started having symptoms of PTSD: panic attacks, depression, difficulty sleeping, pain all over my body, nightmares, and a lot of guilt that I couldn't control. I slowly experienced a mental breakdown because I couldn't cope with the emotional pain. For almost a decade of my life I was confined to the house because I didn't want to face life, I was already thinking about giving up and staying confined at home. Today I am a fitness coach, a lecturer, the owner of a studio, and especially a person who is dealing with himself and his trauma. I think PTSD has taught me a lot about myself, and I'm doing everything I can to raise awareness, to talk about it as much as possible, and most of all, to live."
Photo: Ronen Fadida
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