Special in Uniform
The Fellowship | January 24, 2018
There are so many ways that the IDF inspires those who stand for Israel. But The Jerusalem Post shares this story of how Israel’s military is recruiting and training young people with disabilities to serve the Holy Land as dog-handlers:
A group of 20 young people with disabilities have been recruited into the IDF’s K-9 unit and will be stationed as dog handlers on bases around the country.
The first ever human-canine graduation ceremony for special needs soldiers, was held at the Beit Dagan veterinary center on Tuesday. The recruits and their four-legged friends concluded their lengthy training with a presentation of the skills they learnt, guiding the dogs through an obstacle course exercise.
“Special in Uniform,” the organization that developed the course, is a signature program of the army that integrates Israeli youths with mental or physical disabilities into the IDF.
The participants were carefully selected and matched with instructors and dogs. They developed the skills needed to operate a kennel, including handling, grooming, exercising and feeding dogs.
“The program initially, was an unlikely fit. I actually hated dogs. I was really scared of them, and I never had a dog. But I knew this will be good opportunity for me overcome my fear of dogs and to serve in the IAF’s dog program. The Air Force needs dogs because its bases are a highly desirable target for a terrorist attack, as well as for simple robbers. I really wanted to go for it,” said Amir, a young adult with who is diagnosed with high-functioning autism…