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What motivates someone to move halfway across the world to enlist in the IDF? Among the ranks of the Israeli Defense Forces are several thousand soldiers known as "Lone Soldiers," meaning they have no family in Israel supporting them. Many of these soldiers move to Israel from abroad, leaving their friends and family behind them to pursue their dream of IDF service. Between 2010 and 2013, I served as a lone soldier in a combat unit of the Israeli Defense Forces. In this podcast series, I interview former lone soldiers to learn about their motivations for enlisting, their experiences in the IDF, and how those experiences have shaped the rest of their lives.
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