“Disability is no Deterrent”: Impressions of a Visit to ALEH Negev by an IAF Brigadier General
July 9, 2008
jul 9, 2008
Those in the Israeli Air Force are used to soaring high, but during a recent visit to ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, they reached a new plane of understanding.
The visitors hailed from the renowned Hatzerim Israeli Air Force Base in the Negev, which is home to the Air Force Museum and the IAF Flight Academy, and also serves as an operational base for various training squadrons and the Israeli Acrobatic Team. The Air Force had been granted a bird’s-eye view of the village in previous flyovers, observing the 25-acre landscape terrain and sweeping vista of the village from the skies; now base commander Brigadier General Hagi Topolanski, accompanied by several officers, was treated to an in-depth, personal view of the village from up close.
The visiting Air Force staffers, who met with ALEH Negev Chairman Major General (Res) Doron Almog, were visibly moved by what they termed the “bravery and valor” of the young residents. They found that “here, disability is no deterrent,” as they marveled at the accomplishments of the village residents, despite severe handicaps and the challenges they face on a daily basis.
The Brigadier General said he had learned much from the visit. “Society tends to view things through the perspective of economics – what each person can contribute,” said Topolansky. “But one of the great strengths inherent in ALEH Negev is its collective conscience and the desire to provide mutual assistance – and this is a lesson we can all incorporate in ourselves.” He also noted that the goals and activities of the village clearly have an impact far beyond its immediate range, with a chain of cooperation established between staff, families, and the regional community.
For its part, he pledged, the Hatzerim base and all its personnel would harness their energies towards helping ALEH Negev however they could, taking part in joint activities and lending their efforts towards future endeavors.
Thanks to their visit, we now know that for both the special residents of ALEH Negev and the personnel of the Hatzerim Air Force Base – even the sky is no limit…
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