The idea for Bshvil began after the Second Lebanon War, in 2006. The founders realized that in hundreds of homes soldiers who returned from the War were silent. Parents spoke about soldiers who had been released from the Army but were not released inside. Since then, Bshvil has been running these journeys of release for combat soldiers who went through battles. The organization’s activities are a way of helping individuals and groups deal with what they went through, enabling them to return to a normal life.
former combat soldiers who saw battle and soldiers involved in terrorist incidents. Many still serve in the Reserves. They do not think they are PTSD, or do not want to be labelled as such for many reasons, but know they need help because they are not able to function “normally” – relate to loved ones, study, work steadily, and have peace of mind. More than a few leave Israel.
Some groups are made up of people from the same unit or incident. Other groups are composed of people from different units. Religious and non-religious, Jews and Druze, men and women (approximately 10% — paramedics and terrorist attack victims), and people from all strata of society participate. Their ages vary, as participants are eligible up to ten years following their required Army service. The average age is 27. Referrals are from the Israel Defense Forces, Ministries of Defense, Welfare, Health, and Education, families, social workers, places of employment, other NGO’s, and participants themselves.
Over 800 are eagerly waiting to participate.
Why doesn’t the Israeli government take care of these soldiers?
Defense takes care of wounded soldiers. The Ministry of Health cares for those labelled as PTSD. These young adults in the “gray area” of neither wounded soldier nor labelled as PTSD — yet carrying deep invisible scars that interfere with them moving on with their lives — do not receive the assistance they so need.
The goal is to give these former combat soldiers the emotional tools necessary to carry on with full, meaningful lives.
Bshvil sees itself as undertaking essential moral and practical activities to help these soldiers, who gave so much for the security of Israel, return to full life in the best ways possible — and in doing so, strengthen Israeli society.