Private Mekonen Abeba
Mekonen is in basic training with the 101st Paratrooper Brigade. At age 12, Mekonen emigrated from Ethiopia. Hours before boarding the plane for Israel, his father passed away, hurling the family into a tumultuous period of grief and coping with the unknown in a new land. Mekonen is being raised by his mother in a two-room apartment in Bnei Brak, which he shares with nine other family members.