IDF’s first blind officer owes it all to her mom


(JTA) — Israel’s army received its first-ever blind officer.

Hila Meudah, 24, was posted recently to the Military Advocate General as a legal advisor to the Israel Air Force, the Makor Rishon daily reported Thursday.

The Israel Defense Forces paid for her studies at Bar Ilan University to be a lawyer after she agreed to serve for several years as an officer following her graduation.

Meudah, who lost her eyesight as a child, was exempt from army duty but insisted on serving anyway, she said.

The guarantee of employment with the army appealed to her, she said, “because finding work as a lawyer isn’t simple, but I would have insisted on serving regardless,” she added.

Her assistance dog, Niels, is the only animal that is allowed to enter Camp Rabin in Tel Aviv.

The eldest of three daughters, Meudah and her sisters told Makor Rishon that their mother, Esther, devoted her life to helping her overcome her disability. She also refused to have her disabled daughter attend special education frameworks, insisting that she study in a regular school and classroom.

“Mom transcribed and updated entire math books in Braille so Hila can study like everyone else,” Meudah’s middle sister, Liron, told the daily. “She built her life around making Hila feel that she can do anything she put her mind to, no matter what anyone tells her.”

Another 21 visually impaired soldiers currently serving in the IDF, but none  as an officer.

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