(JNS.org) Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Captain Ziv Shilon, who lost his arm in October 2012 when an explosive device detonated near him as he patrolled the Gaza border, proposed to his longtime girlfriend Adi Sitbon in front of more than 1,000 people at a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) gala in Miami on Thursday.
"FIDF says that our job is to protect Israel; their job is to give us the reason. I wanted to take this opportunity to ask my girlfriend, Adi, just one question. You are my hope, my rock, and my everything. I wanted to ask you, will you marry me?” Shilon told his girlfriend on stage. After an emotional "yes" from Sitbon, a video message from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was aired, in which he congratulated the couple.
A battalion commander in the Givati brigade, Shilon was scanning an area near Kibbutz Kissufim (which is adjacent to Gaza in the Negev desert) for explosives the day he was injured. Fearing sniper fire, he had left his forces behind him. The device detonated as he attempted to open a gate in the border fence. Severely injured and scared of a possible kidnapping, like what had happened to former Hamas captive Gilad Shalit, Shilon somehow managed to pick up his right hand, place it on top of his barely hanging left hand, and run back to his soldiers.
Since then, therapists at the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute have been working to fit him with a better prosthetic hand that would grant him more independence. Shilon was profiled by JNS.org in May 2013.
"Climb one hill at a time. Don’t try to cross Mount Everest. It’s not possible to think that in three months you can go back to the way things were if you lost both your legs. You need to create small goals along the way for yourself, and go step by step until you can climb the entire Empire State Building," he told JNS.org in that article.