For One Doctor, Volunteering for Reserves Means Being Close to IDF Soldier Sons

'I was raised to contribute to the state' says the father; 'I serve to be with my boys - it's what led me to volunteer.'

Dr. Eran Tal-Or has volunteered for reserve duty with an Israel Air Force rescue unit for the past eight years. In addition to contributing to the country, his service also bears a personal advantage - it brings him closer to his sons.

Last Wednesday, Tal-Or, who manages the operating room at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center, was called up. He reported to an air force base in the south, where his 20-year-old son serves.

"He waited for me, he knew I was coming," said Dr. Tal-Or. His son was stationed at the base a year and a half ago, and is currently involved in the fighting in Gaza.

His older son, Yair, served in the air force rescue unit but has finished his service.

"Every year I do reserve duty, and the kids are used to it. With the older son, I would come to the base on weekends, we'd have dinner together. All my friends know I serve to be with my boys - it's what led me to volunteer, and the kids look forward to my reserve duty and enjoy it," he said.

Since reporting last week, he has managed to participate in operational activities, but not with his son.

"The air force doesn't let me do that," he said, adding that he is less concerned for his son's safety while near him on the base, than when he is far away at home.

"I see him every day, I talk to him. He's under my watch," he explained.

The Tal-Or family has a long affiliation with the air force. Dr. Tal-Or's father, Capt. Yair Teller, was killed in military service in 1960, when Tal-Or was only four years old.

When he turned 18, Dr. Tal-Or followed in his father's footsteps and joined the rescue unit.

"At home, I was raised to contribute to the state. My colleagues at the hospital say I'm crazy, but those are the values on which I was raised," he said.