I just came back from a funeral which I will blog about later, but first, I had to post this story of bravery under fire by our IDF soldiers. It's translated from a forum on an Israeli website, rotter.net
As a friend of the Gomez family from Nechalim, whose son Daniel was one of the pilots of the IAF helicopter which was shot down on Saturday night, the following was personally relayed to me, in first person, by the father of the family.
On Saturday night at 2:30 AM, [the IDF] called the Gomez family to inform them that the helicopter which was shot down, was that of their son, Daniel.
The Air Force Base commander informed them in the morning that they would try to extricate and bring the bodies home for burial to Israel on Sunday night. Patrick, Daniel's father told the commander it would be very difficult for him if any additional soldiers would be wounded during the operation to bring his son's body home.
"My son was killed, I don't want to endanger the lives of other soldiers to bring my son's body back," he said.
The base commander wisely replied, "This isn't your decision, it is our decision alone."
The Air Force rabbi of the base recounted that he had to give a "halachik" lecture to the rescue team, which was comprised from 2 elite units. "Normally, I argue with them over [the kashrut laws] of dairy and meat, but at that moment, everyone was poised to carry a holy mission, in the most correct way possible."
The rescue team was airlifted that night by helicopter into Lebanon, and heavy fire was directed at them. The "machat" battalion commander ordered the pilots not to land and return home to base. The rescue team unanimously decided to ignore the direct command, and try to land and carry out the mission.
They successfully landed in Lebanon, and the helicopters safely returned home.
The rescue team located the bodies of 4 out of the 5 Air Crew from the crashed helicopter (the 5th body, that of Karen Tendler, the flight mechanic was located and returned yesterday), and the team walked back 4 kilometers carrying the bodies of their comrades to Israel's Northern border.