“I was once on the giving side,” says Kobi, a disabled IDF veteran. “I helped renovate the homes of Holocaust survivors and distributed food to the needy. I made a good living and was able to give to anyone who was in need. Today I understand that without the help of The Fellowship, I would be hungry.”
After Kobi returned from fighting in the First Lebanon War – the IDF’s conflict with PLO terrorists attacking Israel from the north – nothing was the same. Nightmares haunted his nights. And unexpected breakdowns threatened his days. Through it all, Kobi persevered, working a job for his town in Israel.
But his PTSD grew worse, especially when he returned to serve in the IDF reserves, giving to the Holy Land once again. One day, a terrorist rocket landed a mere yards from the jeep where Kobi sat. Kobi survived, physically, but when he returned to civilian life, he could not hold it together. “It led to hair loss, tooth loss, and weight loss,” Kobi says. “People were afraid to approach me on the street. I would sit and hide for hours in remote places so nobody would see me crying.”
The next phase found Kobi in the hospital for a lengthy stay. Doctor after doctor, he found no help. At last, the IDF recognized this hero as disabled.
Kobi has held small jobs over the years, but has also spent time being homeless. The coronavirus pandemic and recent rocket attacks have only made life harder for this good man. “I say this in the most candid way possible – without the help of The Fellowship, I wouldn’t survive. That’s for certain.”