Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Local health director takes time off to help Israeli military

Alamance County’s health director Tony Lo Giudice has been conspicuously absent from the county’s health department for the past couple weeks.

But for any wags who are tempted to smirk that the health director must be taking some sick days, it’s worth noting that Lo Giudice’s absence has nothing to do with his health.

According to the county’s personnel office, Lo Giudice has taken several weeks of personnel leave, running from February 2 through March 10, 2024. What’s particularly intriguing, however, is that Lo Giudice has apparently devoted this putative “me time” to a rather selfless pursuit – namely, as a volunteer with the Israel Defense Forces.

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A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Lo Giudice is one of several thousand Jewish Americans who have taken up arms in defense of the small Levantine nation since the surprise attack by Hamas on October 7. Last fall, an article in The Washington Post likened this foreign mobilization to the surge of U.S. military veterans who joined Ukraine’s fight against Russia in the early days of that conflict. The Post nevertheless noted that many of Israel’s American fighters possess dual citizenship and had frequently done stints in the Israeli military – as is de rigueur for citizens over 18 under Israel’s national service requirement.

As for the particulars of Lo Giudice’s deployment, the answers will apparently have to wait for the health director’s return. According to county manager Heidi York, Lo Giudice has been out of pocket since his departure and will presumably remain so until his leave has concluded in March.

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