Years ago, British Colonel Richard Kemp famously remarked that Israel has the world’s “most moral” army. This was based primarily on the measures the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), take to minimize civilian casualties during wartime.
However, this is not where the IDF stops to ensure the morality of its actions. IDF goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to supporting its soldiers with disabilities, whether they be physical, intellectual or developmental, as well as soldiers who have been injured while serving.
Israel has a program known as Special in Uniform (SIU), which in conjunction with the Jewish National Fund provides Israelis with developmental disabilities the training and skills they need to become successful and thrive in their IDF positions. This allows them to integrate into Israeli society, live independently, and simply become better soldiers and citizens. The goal of the program is to create a more “inclusive and compassionate” armed forces and nation.
Most recent statistics put 256 people as being involved in the SIU program, but by 2020 the organization hopes to have more than 1,000 initiates. The difficulty is that it is an expensive program, but Israel, the IDF, and the Jewish people throughout the nation are all committed to making it work to help better their community.
Most Israeli citizens are required to serve in the army. Individuals with disabilities are exempt from this requirement, but can volunteer in the IDF on a full or part-time basis. The ability to take part in the IDF helps to normalize their adult experience in comparison to their peers. It provides them with greater transitional opportunities for eventual education, employment and social life, as well as a period of self-growth.
Soldiers who have been injured during service benefit from a tremendous amount of support from the IDF in financial and non-financial ways, regardless of the cause of injury.
For these reasons and many more, Curt Landry Ministries is pleased to continue to support the Israeli army in a wide variety of ways, whether it’s in purchasing much-needed equipment and supplies, or helping support the development of much-needed facilities. For more information about how you can aid in our support of these remarkable people, contact us today.