Major Roi Klein: Leapt On A Grenade
Klein and his men were fighting in the Lebanese village of Bint Jbeil during the 2nd Lebanon War, when they were ambushed by Hisbollah terrorists. Together with a group of soldiers, Klein tried to attack the terrorists from behind, but they were blocked by a building. While Klein was treating one of his wounded soldiers, a grenade was thrown at the group. Without hesitation, Klein jumped on the grenade, absorbing the force of the explosion, thereby saving the lives of the soldiers around him. Despite having been mortally wounded Klein still tried to radio to his superiors and as his last act on earth handed his coded radio to his second in command so that it wouldn’t fall into enemy hands. Roi Klein was posthumously awarded with the Medal of Courage.
Captain Zvi “Zvika” Greengold: “Team Zvika”
Cpt. Greengold commanded a force of three tanks in the Yom Kippur War, when two of them were destroyed in the beginning of the battle. Even when left alone, Greengold continued to fight the Syrian enemy. In order to fool the enemy and make them believe that they were fighting a much larger force, other officers referred to Greengold as the “Zvika Force”. Later in the battle, Greengold was injured, which didn’t stop him from continuing fighting and eventually destroying dozens of enemy tanks. After the war was over, Greengold was awarded the Medal of Valor, the nation’s highest medal for heroism.
Sergeant Shaul Vardi: Kept Fighting After Being Blinded
The only non-officer in our list, Shaul fought in the Six Days War, were he served as a tank commander. While fighting, Shaul’s tank was struck and he was wounded in the face and temporarily blinded. Once he regained his sight he immediately continued to fight. Even after his tank was struck a second time and this time disabled, Vardi and his men continued to fight and clear out Syrian positions, armed with nothing more than Uzis and hand-grenades. Only after Vardi successfully completed his mission he allowed himself to be evacuated to the hospital. For his exemplary display of bravery and sense of duty, Vardi was awarded the Medal of Valor
Lt. Col. Avigdor Kahalani: Saved His Country by Sheer Guts
Lt. Col. Kahalani commanded the 7th Brigade’s 77th Tank Battalion in the battle for the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War. After most of the tanks in the battalion were destroyed, Kahalani was left completely outnumbered with less than 20 tanks against an advancing Syrian tank division. Kahalani’s remarkable skill, bravery, and tactical understanding of the battlefield allowed him to successfully hold his position and eventually force the Syrian division to retreat after days of fierce fighting. This was a major turning point in the Yom Kippur War and his Major, Eitan Kauli, told him “You have saved the people of Israel”. Kahalani was awarded with Israel’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Valor, and later rose up to the rank of Brigadier General.