Attached photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)
Israel President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin and IDF Chief of Staff Lt-Gen Aviv Kochavi invited outstanding soldier Cpl Ariel Salem to Beit HaNasi , Sunday 12 May / 7 Iyar, to present him personally with the President’s Award for Excellence after he felt unwell during the ceremony held at Beit HaNasi last Thursday, Israel’s 71st Independence Day.
Ariel serves in the Central Command and despite medical limitations fought and insisted on volunteering for IDF service. His extraordinary service in a classified role led his commanders to recommend Ariel for recognition as one of the President’s outstanding soldiers on Yom Haatzmaut 5779.
The president thanked Ariel for his service and said that as soon as he heard what had happened during the ceremony, he asked to invite him as soon as possible to ensure that he had the experience he deserved at Beit HaNasi in Jerusalem. “Thanks to you and to many like you, our army is varied and ground-breaking. You are an inspiration, and getting to know you makes me very happy. Continue to be an example as a soldier and as a human being, for your own benefit and for the benefit of us all. You make us all proud.”
Ariel saluted the Chief of Staff and thanked the president for the honor. His mother told the president and the Chief of Staff how disappointed Ariel was to miss the ceremony, and how excited he was to meet them.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt-Gen Aviv Kochavi returned Ariel’s salute and embraced him warmly. He thanked the members of the Salem family and Ariel’s commanders who came with him, and said the service he gave was a source of real pride to all commanders, including him as the commander of the IDF.
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