Letter to the Editor
Amazingly, Israeli soldiers, who are in the heart of the conflict in the Middle East work without bulletproof vests. Filling a gap where Israeli defense budgets have been unable to protect troops, a new organization has recently been formed to raise funds in America to provide bulletproof vests for all Israeli soldiers. The SOS Fund - its initials stand for Saving Our Soldiers - is the brainchild of Brooklyn native Aaron Singer. Singer came up with the idea before embarking on a volunteer stint as an IDF reservist during Operation Defensive Shield. A former paratrooper, Singer saw that the Israeli military had a shortage of light-weight bulletproof vests and decided to help finance their purchase.
"Before I served a month in reserves duty as an IDF paratrooper I read an article about new bulletproof vests. I learned that the IDF did not have the funding available to buy them. I found it shocking that these soldiers, who were putting their lives on the line every day, remained unprotected," Singer said. "It started as self-preservation. I have a wife and kid, so naturally I wanted to ensure that I went through my service unscathed. I started by raising money from friends and family for my one vest," Singer related.
Upon his return to the U.S., Singer formed the SOS Fund to continue raising money to purchase more vests, working in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Independent analysis has shown that 30% of military deaths would be prevented if all soldiers had vests, Singer said.
Singer's organization, which allows donors a tax deduction are priced at around $900 per unit. "I view this as a collective project of the American community to protect Israeli soldiers' lives," Singer said. "Our goal for this year to raise 2 million dollars, enough to buy 2,000 vests," Singer concluded. The organization is aiming big, hoping to raise enough funds to provide vests for every IDF soldier, an undertaking Singer estimates costing some 30 million dollars.
To learn more about the SOS Fund, please call Ronn Torossian at 212-999-5585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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