The LSC, or the Lone Soldier Center, will launch a new campaign where it will raise NIS one million with the help of Israelis and Jewish communities located overseas. This act will be done throughout the high Jewish holidays, and it will be used to help recruits in their transition to IDF, or the Israeli Defense Forces, military life without needing help from their immediate family.
A family member called the LSC a lifesaver, because they helped people go through the process when they needed to leave the army.
The Lone Soldier Center is a non-profit group that was created in memory of Michael Levin, a former lone soldier. He was killed during the second Lebanon war in 2006. Their goal is to help soldiers make through the hardest times of their lives.
There are almost 6,300 lone soldiers who serve in all capacities and ranks in the IDF, and they are given this status under several categories. One such category is not having any parent living in the country, or if they are immigrants, orphans, or are estranged from their own families.
They say the group is the first and only organization that dedicates themselves to meeting all the physical and social needs of lone soldiers, especially focusing on mental health. It is a concern that has been growing over the years, especially last year where there were 12 deaths out of the 27 that were linked to suicide.
There are cases where, unlike natural born Israelis, lone soldiers rarely have any hot meals on Friday night when they return home from their bases, or when they are on leave, and no one is there to help with the laundry.
There are new recruits who immigrated to Israel, felt that the induction to the IDF and familiarizing themselves with life in Israel has been difficult, especially with the pandemic.
The LSC offers housing for 100 soldiers in several locations, such as Jerusalem, Petach Tikva and Herzilya to name a few, along with offering social clubs that will help soldiers scattered across the country. They also provide for a soldier’s necessary supply, logistical and emotional support.
The organization also helps the lone soldiers with understanding Israel’s guidelines and laws, and attending military ceremonies as their parents, who cannot often come to Israel. This serves as an encouragement and additional lifeline to serve the country.
A new support center was opened last year, as IDF needed to address the needs of the lone soldiers. There were ongoing issues that commanders did not approve of leaves, making it big news.