First of all I want to thank you for your contribution.
I am Alona, 23 years old. I was born in Ukraine two weeks after the atomic explosion in Chernobyl. In 1990, I immigrated to Israel with all my family. In high school, I decided to join the army and to serve in a fighting unit. I was very happy when I passed entrance examinations.
In 2004 I mobilized to artillery corps. In basic training I discovered that we were only 9 girls in a group of more than 500 boys. The basic training was very hard — we girls did everything like the boys for four months in the desert.
After I finished the basic training, I came to my team and there I served almost three years. During that time I served all over the country: on the Gaza Strip when Gilad Shalit was abducted, after that in the Second Lebanon War — a period that I'll never forget. Katyusha rockets fell near to us — and it was 40 days with no shower and with no communication with my family. Even with all these difficult conditions, I have never been sorry about my service.
I was released in 2007 as staff sergeant and now I am in reserve duty in tanks corp. I am the only girl with 41 men serving together. I was in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead for three weeks.
In 2009 I started to learn in Tel Aviv University. I'm studying nursing professions. The study is half in the university and half in a hospital. Because of my intensive studies and many days of service, I can't work. I also volunteer with a medical crew that works with people with cancer.
My parents divorced five years ago. My father can't help me with money because he has debts from the time he was self-employed. Today I have no contact with my father and only my mom helps me with everything.
Thanks to this scholarship, I can continue my studies more seriously, more peacefully, and get higher achievements.