Soldiers with Special Needs
In Israel, there are many disabled people who want to serve their country despite having special needs. Some have physical limitations, and others have mental disabilities and neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and autism. These young men and women are exempt from serving, but they long to do whatever they can to protect the country they love. Luckily for them, Israel’s military is one of the most advanced at integrating such citizens into non-combat roles.
As volunteers, they draft into the army and become soldiers in every way, receiving uniforms, berets, and insignia. They serve in non-combat capacities, assisting with logistics, computers, and whatever else they can, based not only on their limitations, but also on each and every one’s talent or special ability. For instance, many with autism have advanced levels of perception and are trained in intelligence units to carefully scan and study high-resolution images and maps.
Before, during, and after their service, these soldiers belong to a social and educational framework which assists them in every way, including when they reach their discharge from the army and want to reintegrate into civilian life as productive and successful citizens of Israel.
We support those who volunteer for military service in whatever capacity their abilities allow. They are truly admirable, patriotic young men and women, and it is important for us to assist help them in any way possible, and more importantly – to let them know that their service to the State of Israel is acknowledged and appreciated!
There are about one thousand such soldiers now serving on two dozen bases throughout Israel. We do all we can to help them and provide them with recreational equipment, winter clothing, and more.
This past year, we provided video game systems for their barracks so that they can have fun on their time off.
- We provided winter clothing for several hundred of the soldiers.
- We donated hundreds of exercise shirts to the soldiers.
Pictured: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with special needs soldiers wearing fleece jackets we donated!
The Prime Minster has said that “a strong nation is one that does not leave its most vulnerable members behind. Israel is the only nation in the world that has a strong army with the ability to include people with disabilities.”