|Their love of Golani is stronger than their love for the USA|
TRANSLATED FROM ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN YEDIOT ACHRANOT ON 13TH MARCH, 2013 WRITTEN BY ADVA COHEN
Steve River (26) and Joseph Carpenter (21) completed their abbreviated service in Golani, missed it so much that they returned from the USA to complete the 3 year service
What normally would a combat soldier do after service ? Travelabroad - and preferably as long as possible. But there are those who do just the opposite.
Steve River ( 26 ) from California and Joseph Carpenter ( 21 ) from New York left it all three years ago and came to Israel as part of the Machal (foreign volunteers to Israel) enlisted as Golani soldiers and served in the abbreviated service as fighters for a year-and-a-half.
On completion they returned home to the United States, to a comfortable and good life. During "Pillar of Cloud" they started to scratch their hands . They feel they were wrong to be where they were and decided to return to Israel to serve a further year-and-a-half and thus complete three years of military service.
"After I got out I went back to San Diego, I started to work but the money meant nothing to me," says River. "Everything was good, but not perfect. I realized what I enjoyed most was when I was in the army and I realized that I wanted to return to Israel, to the Golan Heights. So I finally decided to go back and be drafted again. I know that my friends in Israel are in the middle of a mess and I wanted to be there with them." Carpenter said: "I came to New York and I worked in several jobs. I heard what was happening in Israel and I concluded that if I needed to be back with the guys Golani. I realized that there was nothing more important to do than just that."
Rivers and Carpenter ran off and packed their bags for a second time, and said goodbye to America. They enlisted again about a month ago in the 51st Battalion they had so recently left.
"I got back my greatest love -the uniform of the Golani Brigade," Riverse said yesterday. Many of their friends did not understand what prompted them to return, they explained: " Our American friends did not understand what was happening to us. Even some of our friends in the Golani Brigade said it was weird. After all, we were here and we were released . But we love the army. What can you do, it's like finding love."