SAN DIEGO — A couple from San Marcos took a trip to Israel on Sept. 27 and just six days into their trip, Hamas attacked Israel.
“Saturday morning, we woke up to sirens going off and we went into the bomb shelter,” Patty Kolb said to FOX 5.
She and her husband are with a group of people who traveled to Israel. Now, they are among the many United States citizens awaiting a flight out of Israel.
“I have cried more in these last five days more than I have in a while, because of just the pure evil,” Kolb said. “When the sirens go off, you can see the flashes, you can see the Iron Dome intercept.”
While they were scheduled to have been home by now, they are taking this as an opportunity to support the people of Israel in a way they said they wouldn’t have been able to from their home.
“This is not the trip that we expected but if we are going to support Israel, if we can support them here, that just seems like we’ve been given an incredible privilege to be on the front lines,” she said.
This is their 10th trip to Israel. Hours before the war broke out, they were out enjoying the typically bustling city.
“Friday night, we were out having a beautiful Shabbat dinner with friends and that would be the last time we would be able to get together with people,” Kolb said.
With airline cancellations, they are now stuck. Kolb said they have been emailing, calling and have had some people go into representatives’ offices to try and get them help over the last six days.
“Today is the first day since Saturday that we have not spent some time in the bomb shelter,” she said.
Just an hour before FOX 5 spoke with Kolb via Zoom, she said she received the first response from U.S. officials.
“It was, I have to say, very disappointing because the restrictions on it are not what we would expect from our government,” Kolb said. “I’m in a wheelchair so I don’t even know if they would accommodate me, but the first thing it said, before they would help us we needed to sign a form that we would pay back the government, and then it said we could bring one piece of luggage that was 35 pounds.”
Now they have plans to fly out of Tel Aviv this weekend and fly to Athens, then Paris and then the U.S.
Until they can get on the flight, they are staying strong for the Israelis, and keeping their faith.
Kolb said going through something like this will undoubtedly change the way she views life and living in San Marcos.
She said where they are staying in Israel is usually a bustling city, similar to Los Angeles or San Francisco, and it’s been eerie to see the streets nearly empty.
“Most of the workers have been called up to serve in the reserves and restaurants can’t be open unless they have a bomb shelter,” she said.
Kolb said they were driving on the freeway the other day when everyone stopped because the sirens went off on cell phones.
“We were driving down the freeway and all the sudden everything stopped,” Kolb added. “And people just jumped out of the cars and fell to the ground.”