Yarden, Eitan and Daniel Yaniv Have Moved to Israel to Become Combat Soldiers –
By Danny Brenner | israelhayom.com
Yarden Yaniv, 18, is the youngest of three brothers to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat soldier. He will be joining his brothers, Eitan, 20, who is serving in the Nahal Brigade, and Daniel, 22, who is in the Givati Brigade.
All three brothers left their parents, Wendy and Yaron, in Marietta, GA to fulfill their dream of joining the IDF and contributing to Israel’s security.
Yarden Yaniv arrived in Israel during Operation Protective Edge and is staying at Kibbutz Magen along the Gaza border. He will be recruited in two months through the Garin Tzabar program, a joint initiative of the Israeli Scouts Movement, the Kibbutz Movement, the Jewish Agency’s Masa program, Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Absorption Ministry.
“We all studied at Jewish schools and were part of Atlanta’s Jewish community,” Yarden said. “It’s been clear to me since I was a child that after high school I would go to Israel and join the IDF.
“When I told my parents in Grade 11 that I was planning to serve in the IDF, they pushed me to send college applications and to keep my options open, but to me there was only one option — joining the IDF.”
Yaniv said his mother was “getting used to” sending her sons to the IDF.
“My mom is very proud and understands that it is something important for us to take part in, but still, every time I go to tryouts for elite units or other units, she tells me to bring my guitar,” he said. “She hopes that maybe they’ll send me to the military band.”
But he believes he and his brothers are well-suited to be combat soldiers.
“My father worries, but less than my mother. He was a paratrooper so he is more familiar with it and can advise about where to go. Of course, his first piece of advice was to join the paratroopers,” Yaniv said.
“I want to be a paratrooper like my father. Specifically I want to be recruited to the elite Maglan unit. But I am happy to be in any unit where I can contribute.”
Despite the distance, the boys’ parents try to visit Israel as much as possible. Their last visit was during Operation Protective Edge.
“We update them on what’s going on with us, or they get updates from Zvika Levy, who is responsible for lone soldiers on behalf of the Kibbutz Movement,” Yaniv said. “He takes care of me here at Kibbutz Magen and but also of both my brothers, who rent an apartment in Tel Aviv.”
Kibbutz Movement head Eitan Broshi said, “My heart swells with pride when I see these three brothers, who decided to leave their lives in the United States in an impressive family-wide act of Zionism and to join the IDF.”
Daniel and Eitan Yaniv are graduates of George Walton High school in Marietta while brother Yarden Yaniv graduated from Weber High school.