Just before Omar gets out of the car to get on the bus that will take him from Afula to the “Shizafon” armored base where he serves, his father, Eran, asks him if he remembered to brush his army shoes. No, this is not a scene from a new movie or series, but part of a series of videos in which Eran Schuster documents his life as a parent of an IDF fighter, in an attempt to make it easier for parents whose children are about to be drafted.
A few months ago, the IDF launched a project on social media called “Brother Who Knows,” in which fighters provided a glimpse into their combat service in armor, artillery and infantry, with the aim of encouraging recruitment to combat units in the land arm.
As a direct continuation of this initiative, a “parent who knows” project was recently launched, in which various parents reveal the routine of their lives as parents of combat soldiers, in order to help allay the concerns of other parents whose children are in their early or pre-military career.
Before the launch of the project, the parents went through a dedicated training day, where they learned about social networks and the way to create content. They initiate the ideas for documentation themselves, whether it is a photo of their son being transported to the train, a meeting with their daughter on a vacation or a conversation they are having with their child at 5:00 PM.
“The desire to help and do for another parent and thus benefit and help him go through a challenging period is a very great satisfaction,” says Galit Cohen, whose son Ram serves as a fighter in the Dokifat Regiment in the Kfir Brigade. On the fact that she joined a team documenting their lives as parents of warriors, she notes: “I am happy to have the ability to be an anchor for other parents, and together as a group to influence and help every family possible.”
Schuster, whose son is facing the end of his training as a armorer, adds: “I wanted to be part of the team, in light of the personal challenge of recruiting the eldest son to the IDF after a long military service. I want to influence other parents in the process I am going through. “
“The initiative is the first of its kind, and was built especially for parents of young people before combat recruitment,” he explains. , Who do not always know how to cope and help their natives prepare for recruitment. They themselves also need to receive tools, advice and guidance in each of the stages until the recruitment itself. “
He added: “The guidance is not only in the big things but also in the small tips of what to bring to the recruitment day, how to pack a bag, and especially to dispel concerns. The network is full of information that is not always true and accurate, so it was important for us to be there not only for children But also for the parents.
“It is a great privilege to be part of a parent team for combatants in the IDF,” Schuster concludes. I feel it is very important to share, innovate, interest and help parents whose children before enlistment understand in the most honest, direct and genuine way how to overcome the following challenges as parents of combat soldiers. “