TEL AVIV — When Shir Kleyman, an infantry instructor for the Israel Defense Forces and a Los Angeles native, found out that someone named Sean had died fighting in Gaza, she knew the army had lost a fellow lone soldier.
The official announcement came soon afterward as Kleyman, 19, was sitting in a Tel Aviv cafe on furlough: The fallen soldier was her friend, Texas native Sean Carmeli.
“I asked Sean’s last name and said ‘please don’t be Carmeli, please don’t be Carmeli,’ ” Kleyman said. “You find this out and don’t know what to do with yourself. I didn’t know how to handle it. You feel it because you know that you’re one of them.”