Being injured during a military operation can be a traumatizing experience. The moment of injury is devastating, the healing process is long, and the rehabilitation is rough. For many injured soldiers going back to the army is not an option, but for some, returning to service is the ultimate goal. Here are three inspiring stories of soldiers who were injured during their service and decided to return to the IDF.
CAPTAIN ANTON SEOMIN
Cpt. Anton Seomin was injured in two wars — the first time, during the Second Lebanon War, and the second time, during the 2009 Operation Cast Lead.
In the Second Lebanon war, Anton served as a platoon commander in the 890th Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade. During the battle, waged in the Lebanese village Bint Jbeil, Anton and his soldiers were ambushed by a Hezbollah force.
Anton was attacked while dragging the body of one of his soldiers out of a ruined building. He suffered a short-range blast to his face, fingers and shoulder and continued to fight, only accepting treatment after the battle was over. He lost a finger in the battle.
“The house was very dark. All the curtains were drawn. At 5AM we started to clear the house, room by room. Suddenly I saw a terrorist with a gun aimed at me – I shot him and he at me. One bullet hit my fingers and sharpnel caught me in the eyes and shoulder. We didn’t leave the house until we finished the mission.”
For his actions in the Second Lebanon War, Anton received the Medal of Courage. Following his rehabilitation, he returned to serve as a battalion deputy commander in a Paratroopers Brigade.
“I didn’t focus on my injuries, just the task at hand. I’m the command, the head of the mission. If I don’t lead my soldiers, who will?”
During Operation Cast Lead, Anton was injured by friendly fire in the Jabaliya village of the Gaza Strip. Anton left the field for two days, after which he was called back to service in order to replace another officer who had been mortally injured.
Today, Anton serves as a commander in the Paratroopers Brigade training base.
MAJOR SHLOMI BICHE
Major Shlomi Biche was injured during the Second Lebanon War, fighting in southern Lebanon as part of the 931th Battalion of the Nahal Brigade. During the war, the forces under his command were attacked by a terrorist cell, and Shlomi was injured by an explosion in the battle . He was evacuated by his fellow soldiers and was summarily hospitalized.
Five years later, Shlomi, by then a husband and a father of four, returned to service in the Nahal Brigade as a combat instructor. Today, he serves as an Operations Branch Officer at the Tactics Training Center in Ze’elim.
“For me, what happened in Lebanon was just a hallmark on the way to the next destination. I have no limits and I aspire to reach the highest positions I can.”
LIEUTENANT COLONEL GUY KAVILI
Lt. Col. Guy Kavili was also injured during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. He was a commander in the 52nd Battalion of the Armored Corps, and was injured when the tank he was riding drove over a mine. His injuries were declared moderate to severe, and he underwent a series of complicated surgeries. After the second one, he was already asking when he could rejoin his battalion.
In 2008, Guy returned to the army as Deputy Commander of the 401st Division of the Armored Corps. Today he’s already finished his military service, but still serves in reserves under the Commander of the Armored Corps.