First of all: R.I.P to Doron and Eyal.
In 1999, I was a rescue medic serving inside Lebanon. Our mission was to stop a squad of Hezbollah terrorists that planned to put I.E.Ds on a border fence. Hezbollah surprised us, throwing 2 grenades into our positions, severely wounding two of my close friends. We were able to evacuate them on helicopters and took off after the terrorists to prevent further attacks. We were in the open and without cover and came under heavy fire. When my Commanding Officer asked for help, my dear friend Eyal ran to his side. Eyal and the Officer were shot and screamed for a medic. I couldn’t run there fast enough with my gear on so started shedding anything that wasn’t necessary to help them, exposing me to fire. Hezbollah continued shooting but, luckily, at first, I was only hit in my vest. As I made it to my Commanding Officer, I saw a bullet tear through his arm. I stopped to help him and he ordered me to Eyal. I couldn’t see Eyal through the smoke but when I got to his side, I saw he had been shot in his head and he was in a terrible and bloody state. As I leaned down to him another burst of gunfire ripped into us, one in my lower back. I lost consciousness. All I remember seeing was pictures of my family members and my dog. Something in me reminded me I had to wake up – I hadn’t said goodbye to my family before I left and I needed to get home to see them. As soon as I could see again, I began CPR on Eyal but I couldn’t move my lower body. The bullet had paralyzed me from the waist down so I did the best I could, pounding on Eyal’s chest to get him breathing. I was awake another 2 hours until being rescued back to Israel and waking up in a hospital there. In total, 4 bullets had hit my body and 28 into my vest. When told about this program he thanked Artists 4 Israel. We reminded him that he was the hero and he said “No, I was just doing my job. Your artists are the ones going out of their way to help. They are the real heroes.
Barak was tattooed during Healing Ink Jerusalem by artist Steve Soto at the Jerusalem Museum of Art on October 20, 2016