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Letter from a woman in South Carolina to a chaplain while her son was in basic training at Fort Jackson:

Last night, my son shared with me what’s going on in his Army training in a rare phone call. It was so great to hear from him. He’s out in the field (in Georgia) doing combat mission simulations for two weeks. He said it’s pretty grueling and they allow them about three hours of sleep a night but he said overall he’s enjoying it… Intense, but interesting. They allowed them to come back yesterday to shower, clean up, refill supplies, and call their families. They will head out again early Monday morning. 

So this past Wednesday night, he and two other Jewish Soldiers were handed “Passover boxes” and ushered into a shack-like structure that was out in the field. He said he couldn’t believe it. When he unpacked the Passover box, there was a seder plate with each of the items individually wrapped: a whole meal including a box of matzo, gefilte fish and horseradish, a Haggadah, a yarmulke and even Elijah’s cup with grape juice. For a couple hours, these Jewish soldiers conducted a Pesach seder and sang Passover songs. He said it was surreal. I was crying as he was describing it. One of the Sergeants came in to check on them and my son offered to tell him the story and share the different foods so he could sample it, but the Sergeant respectfully apologized for disturbing them and allowed them to stay in there as long as they wanted to. Amazing…

Originally published in the Passover 5782 Jewish-American Warrior.