SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A local couple who were on vacation in Israel and got stuck there after Hamas unleashed its attacks has made it home.
Patty Kolb and her husband are back in San Marcos, arriving in San Diego Sunday night after a harrowing trip to Israel.
“We have to use the experiences of the last eight days for a greater good and we believe that that’s the purpose of why we were there,” Kolb said.
They were there for about a week visiting friends and touring sites when everything changed with Hamas’ terror attacks.
“Potentially at anytime, we could have been I guess bombed, at no time was I fearful,” Kolb said.
But getting out was not easy.
The couple’s flight home was canceled, rescheduled, then canceled again. Eventually, they found a Saturday flight from Tel Aviv to Athens.
“We spent a lot of time in bomb shelters including about 15 minutes before we left our Airbnb to go to the airport and a half hour before we boarded our plane at the airport,” Kolb said.
The couple flew from Athens to Paris to Washington D.C, then home to San Diego.
“I know it was a blessing to be home,” Kolb said.
Still, she says coming home comes with mixed emotions.
“It was a relief, but in some ways, I think we felt a little guilty that we had left… I mean I’m just being honest with you… you know not everybody had that opportunity to leave,” Kolb said.
Kolb says they are just beginning to process what they’ve been through.
“The brutality, I’m devastated by the pure evil, demonic attacks… it’s unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before,” she said.
Kolb says they hope to return to Israel for the 11th time, as soon as they’re able, as soon as it’s safe.
“This is actually made us fall more in love with Israel, it’s made us stand stronger for Israel,” she said.