"Would I do it all again?" David Mendelsohn muses to himself, 35 years later, as he stands outside the United Nations Headquarters building in Jerusalem, peering at a commemorative plaque that describes the bitter battle that his battalion, 161 of the Jerusalem Brigade, fought on that very spot in the Six Day War of 1967. As David reads the names of his fallen comrades, memories of them and of his 17 years of service in Israel's army come flooding back. And so he wrote this book. It holds many of those memories, beginning with him leaving Johannesburg in 1961 at the age of 17 to emigrate to Israel. On arrival he volunteers for the army, is trained first as an infantryman then as a combat medic, and finds himself, six years later, right in the war's front line and on active service. Whether fighting, tending to the wounded and dying, on patrol, on guard or on leave, little escapes his keen and honest eye. Later, he records both the extraordinary adventures he had and survived and the equally extraordinary and unforgettable men and women he came to know at such a momentous period in Israel's history, one that encompassed two major wars.
At times achingly moving, at times wildly hilarious, always unflinchingly honest, this book reveals the man himself, and to read it is to come to know him, the times through which he lived, and the country for which he fought.