Only In Israel

Saturday, April 10, 2004

"Jobnikim" and "Lohamim"

This time I want to tell you about one of the main splits among the IDF soldiers.
There are the "Lohamim", the fighters, the combat soldiers serving in the territories, or on Israel's borders, and there are "Jobnikim", or basicly people who have deskjobs, or any non-combat role in the IDF.
Now, as I belong to the first group, take note that what I post here is slanted to my side.
The thing is, the IDF treats its soldiers differently, for some reason Jobnikim are getting better treatment than Lohamim in certain bases. It comes in basic things from the quality of the food in homefront bases (and although, quite honestly, I've been to bases in the territories where the food was excellent), where they occasionaly get catering delivered, to the guards shift in military bases, where Jobnikim nearly get none of those. It continues to the tiem each of us spend home, Jobnikim serving in frontline bases go home weekly (compared to the fighters which may occasionaly close 3 weeks in the military), and those who serve on the homefront get home on daily basis, they sleep at home.
It's an issue of constant strife between Lohamim and Jobnikim, not to say there are two groups, but it mostly comes in mutual jokes. The feeling Lohamim often get, is they do all the hard stuff, barely sleep, and come home once a month to discover a Jobnik has stolen their girlfriends (never happened to me, don't worry).
Now, as some of my readers know, there was a real threat of me becoming a Jobnik. I'm an only child, and there's some stupid rule in the IDF which forbids only children from serving on combat positions unless their parents sign a form. My mom didn't want to sign it for ages, it took lots of fighting, convincing, and eventually not speaking to her for some time for her to sign that form. The things I was offered before the military were all Jobnik positions, teaching paramedics, working for the computer department, analyzing intelligence and another offer which wasn't worth my time but is something I vowed not to discuss. I rejected them all. Some of those offers would bring me home daily, others would ensure me a safe working place when I'm done with my military service, I still gave those offers up.
Was it worth it? Hell yeah.
When I come home from the military, I know I'm doing something important, more important than any deskjob I could've had. When I get back to the military from home, I know that I'm doing something I wanted to do, and you know what? Unlike someone going to a combat position without actually wanting it, I know I'm there cause I wanted it, I know I'm there cause I've fought for it, and I know I'm there doing my best.
So yeah, I'm gonna be less at home, and yeah, I'm probably not gonna have any serious romantic relationship for sometime, because what girl would keep a boyfriend which only gets home once in two weeks, but atleast I know that in the three years I served in the military I did something different. Deskjob is something I can get when I return to being a civilian, a real combat position isn't. So I'm confident I made the right choice.
Happy Passover to all of you.


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