Jan. 1, 2009. While organizing our equipment (again!) I was startled by an outbreak of shouting and a large pack of soldiers running in a single direction.

"What happened?" I yelled. Incoming missiles? Emergency alert? No... Donations!

The moment I heard that I also joined the herd of soldiers to be the first in line to get free stuff.

The donors were mostly American, particularly the Jewish president of a large chain of domestic and home accessory stores.

They pulled me and a few other American lone soldiers aside. So my friend said to the president, "My mom just loves your towels."

I rolled my eyes and shook my head. Smooth, dude. Real smooth. But I guess my friend meant it as a joke and he laughed.

I also met a rabbi from my home town. With us Jews it's always a small world.

But I can't emphasize enough how much we appreciate the support, especially when the entire world is criticizing us. And we've hardly even done anything yet!...