TA Station's Free-drink Stand for Soldiers Goes Dark

For over a decade, the Soldiers Welfare Association maintained a canteen in the shell of a bus that was set up at the corner of Namir Road and Arlosoroff Street in Tel Aviv, where, until last month, volunteers dispensed sandwiches and drinks to members of the military. According to volunteers from the Egged retirees' organization, the soldiers' oasis in the city stopped operations because a faulty air conditioner has not been fixed, despite repeated calls to the Soldiers' Welfare Association. The association, on the other hand, has said the place was shut down for renovations.

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"We were roasting in that bus, and that's why it was closed," stated one volunteer, who said a new air conditioner was installed about a year and a half ago, but that it stopped working about five months ago. The heat drove the volunteers away, he said.

"It's heartbreaking," said another staffer. "A soldier has to buy a sandwich for NIS 25 that I give him for free."

The Soldiers Welfare Association said: "To ensure good and safe conditions for the volunteers and the soldiers who receive services at the location, there is a need to renovate the canteen. The [association] is currently in touch with the Tel Aviv municipality to inquire about a permit for an up-to-date, modern canteen that would serve soldiers and those serving in the security forces."