Sergeant Robert Farah Usa only arrived in Israel two years ago, but he’s already been chosen to be honored at this year’s Independence Day ceremony.
As part of this year’s theme of “courageous citizens”, honoring those who have prevented or stopped terror attacks, Usa is one of 14 honorees who will take part in the annual torch-lighting ceremony.
Usa, 21, immigrated to Israel by himself two years ago from his native Colombia. Just a few months after his arrival, Usa enlisted in the IDF, serving as a “lone soldier” – a soldier with no immediate family in Israel.
After an extensive training period, Usa was deployed as part of the “Kfir” 900 Brigade in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem.
In March 2016, Usa thwarted a terror attack while manning a checkpoint near the Gush Etzion junction. A terrorist brandishing a knife stepped out of his car and attacked Usa, who managed to quickly neutralize the terrorist.
“I’m happy for the honor I’ve received to light one of the Independence Day ceremony torches,” said Usa. “I’ll light the torch in the name of my comrades in the Kfir Brigade and all other soldiers serving in the IDF.”