During the Second Lebanon War (2006), Michael Zamir was a 25-year-old combat medic in the Paratroopers Brigade. While on a mission, his platoon took shelter in a deserted building in Debel, Lebanon. A Hezbollah missile hit, inflicting serious casualties. As Michael began to administer first aid, another incoming rocket critically wounded the rest of the unit. This time, Michael was among them. Despite several broken bones and life-threatening injuries over his entire body, he continued to help his fellow soldiers.
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At the same time as carrying them one by one to a safer area, he single-handedly took on the enemy in a firefight. Even with his heroic efforts, Michael could not save his 11 friends. He was the sole survivor. On evacuation to Israel, Michael was put in a medically-induced coma for four months, hospitalized for a year with multi-systemic failure, confined to a wheelchair for four years, and used crutches for an additional two years. He underwent four years of intense rehabilitation at Beit Halochem Jerusalem for both his physical injuries and severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
While both the military and Israel’s government awarded Michael their highest commendations for his courageous actions under fire, like many veterans, he still experiences recurrent, intense “survivor’s guilt”.