Upper East Side resident returns to Israel for IDF active duty as war continues

Darla Miles Image
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Upper East Side resident returns to Israel for IDF active duty
A man from the Upper East Side joined the Israeli Defense Forces to report for duty. Reporter Darla Miles has the story.

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man from the Upper East Side is now in Israel to report for duty with the Israeli Defense Forces.

The 32-year-old reservist flew to Israel as soon as he heard about the attacks on Saturday.

Staff Sgt. Noy Leyb says even though he has undergone military training, he wasn't expecting to ever have to fight in a war like what has broken out.

"Soldiers aged 21 to 67 all in this green uniform, mentally, physically, preparing for what is going to happen," Leyb said.

The Upper East Side resident is one of the 300,000 Israeli reservist soldiers around the world called in for active duty.

"I wasn't called before I booked my ticket, but as things escalated, my friends started to go back to the army so I know I was going to get called," Leyb said.

The paratrooper checked in for duty just days ago.

"Arrived Sunday night, took the train up north to where my family lives, gave my grandpa a kiss, a mom and dad a kiss, grabbed my gear and first thing the next morning I was back on base with my other fellow reservists," he said.

Just one week ago Leyb was in Israel celebrating the birth of his nephew. Now he and both of his brothers, including the new father, are deployed in three separate locations around the country.

"My parents have three boys in the army now, three boys and they're all in the army serving, so for them to say bye to two and here's another one," Leyb said.

In 2010, Leyb completed his military training and was called an outstanding soldier by his commander.

He always said joining the IDF was the best decision he has ever made. One now more important than ever.

"It's going to be a long war unfortunately, we know it," Leyb said. "Hamas has continued to surprise us with their inhumane savage actions. And we're here to take care of it."

Leyb has started a chat group for Israelis around the world, trying to help others report for duty.

He says it's been working and has been connecting soldiers with owners of private planes and other modes of transportation. There are now 600 people in the group chat.

ALSO READ | NJ family trapped in Israel following Hamas attack


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