The bald unit by BaldBearded
The bald unit…
*Note this story contains references to gays, army and the Israel/Palestinian conflict, you were warned!
Shlomi had something to prove. Like most teenage boys in Israel, he was preparing to go into the army. This meant combat unit or not. It meant three years or more of his life, to serve his country. His father had been a combat soldier during the 2nd Intifada, and wanted his son to have a nice safe, desk job, come home every night. Shlomi had other plans, he had something to prove. He was the little gay boy. Always being put down, always being made fun of. His long hair, his flashy clothes, he was going to show them.
As many teen boys in Israel, Shlomi grew his hair long, in high school, waiting for the end of summer party to do the big chop. Shlomi was no different, his long, brown hair, in a braid down his back, not a single haircut from his bar mitzvah.
Shlomi, was ecstatic when the letter came from the army, he was accepted into the elite Givati unit. His parents were less enthusiastic. August came, and all of his friends came to the big party at the beach, in Tel Aviv. The bonfires were lit, and all the boys came, their girlfriends armed with scissors and clippers. Shlomi had no girlfriend, so when it was his turn to get this long braid cut, it was his friend Shulamit who did the deed. The scissors crunched through the thick braid, and then it was lying in his lap, a souvenir for his mom to place in a scrap book. Then out came the battery operated clippers. Quickly his hair was reduced to stubble, like all of his friends.
As they were standing around the fire, drinking beer, singing old songs, and talking about their units, and where they were going to serve. Talking the big talk. All a bit scared about going to Bakum (the induction center) the next week. As Shlomi was standing next to the fire, drinking his Goldstar, Avi, one of the big athletes at school came up behind him, and rubbed his head. Shlomi jumped, and he started Avi in the face, his long, curly blond locks, reduced to stubble, like Shlomi.
"Feels nice Shlomi", and then Avi leaned in his ear, and whispered (and really sexy, also). Shlomi was shocked. Avi then grabbed his hand, and slowly, quiet pulled Shlomi over to the life guard shack. Avi then grabbed Shlomi by the head, and started to kiss him, deeply. Shlomi was shocked, shocked that Avi was gay, and that Avi knew about him, and then also wanted him. "Wow, you are a great kisser Shlomi, who would have thought". Shlomi grabbed Avi, and started kissing again, before long they were both naked, and were f***ing. After both of them climaxed, they looked up to find that they had an audience. They had no idea, but the entire class had watched most of the experience. Shlomi was totally embarrassed, but Avi started to laugh. Then the entire class started to cheer. This was Israel, and people are cool. The boys quickly dressed, and rejoined the group.
The next week went by quickly, Shlomi was thinking a lot about Avi, but needed to focus on what was going to happen the next six months of basic training, in one of the most elite units in the Army. The day arrived, and Shlomi, like his friends, arrived at Bakum (induction center) with the rest of new inductees in his unit. His parents were both crying, his father deploring him to not be a hero, do his job, and keep a low profile, and never volunteer. As he walked in, he saw Avi. They never got to talk after that night at the beach, he had no idea that Avi was also accepted into Givati. He was relieved, he was so afraid to be alone. Now he had Avi.
Basic was gruelling, he was pushed harder than he had ever been pushed before. But he had Avi. Luckily, they were able to share a tent, and then after basic, a small hut. At first they kept their relationship a secret, but it was hard. Their CO, Yuval, discovered them kissing, one day after morning roll call, and started to scream at them. The boys freaked. The screaming was so loud, that another CO from a different unit came rushing to see what the fuss was. "These two faggots want to kiss in my unit". Yossi, the other unit CO started to laugh "no honey, we need to show them how Givati soldiers really kiss", and with that grabbed Yuval, and deep throated him with some serious tongue. The officers both were laughing their asses off, they really freaked out the two recruits. "Relax boys, you are among friends here, but don’t think that just because we are all family, you will have it easy, it’s tough, and wait until you are out on Patrol, in Hebron, you don’t know the half of it".
Before they knew it, basic was over, and their parents all came to see them graduate basic, they are now fully accepted into their units and received their distinctive purple berets. Parents were invited, and that is where Shlomi introduced them to Avi. Both sets of parents met, which would prove to be very useful as time went on.
It was now time for field service. And their unit was sent to Hebron. Shlomi was scared, he heard about service in Hebron, it was tough. The Palestinians hate you, and the settlers run amok with guns, taking over houses in the heart of the old city, and making the life of the soldiers who are there to protect them, a misery. Yuval was quick to separate the boys. "You can sleep together, you can do what you want off duty together, but I won’t put you on patrol together. I need you alert". It was hard, but they did what they were told. Shlomi would patrol at night, with his squad, and Avi during the day. They saw each other for brief, precious moments from time to time. On those precious weekends, they were able to go home, and leave the stress of the service behind.
Out in the field, regulations were a bit lax, especially in the combat units. All the soldiers in their unit were bearded, and both Avi and Shlomi grew out their beards. Hair length was also not the army 2.5cm limit either. Most guys kept the back and sides short, but let the top grow out a bit. The big bulky helmet hid a lot, anyway.
The service was very tough, they had to patrol, and deal with a population that hated them, and some times they would get pelted by rocks from kids as young as four. The Israeli settlers were no better, most hating them for protecting the Palestinians or stopping them from taking over houses in the old city.
After a year in the field, Shlomi started to notice that some of his fellow soldiers were losing their hair. Young guys 19 and 20 year old with diffuse thinning or serious bald spots and receding hairlines. Both Yuval and Yossi suddenly showed up at dinner on Friday night, their heads gleaming. One Saturday morning, when both Shlomi and Avi were home on leave, and they were showering together, Shlomi noticed a clump of blond hair in the drain. "Avi, let me see your head", Avi bent over, and sure enough there was a bald spot the size of a golf ball at the crown. Shlomi brushed his hands through Avis’ hair, and there were short blond strands in his hands. Shlomi showed Avi his hands. Avi started to tear up, he loved his blond curls, and could not wait for the end of his three year army service to grow his hair long again, now, he realized it was not to be. Shlomi hugged him, and soothed him "you are handsome, hair or no hair, and I love you". This was the first time that Shlomi had told Avi he loved him. Avi smiled, his face lit up "I love you too".
They returned to their units, and their service dragged on. From time to time they were rotated out, but the last two months of their service, they were posted again, to the Casbah. While Shlomi’s hair was the same as the day he enlisted, Avi’s hair was almost completely gone. One day in the shower, Avi asked Shlomi to shave his head. What was left of his hair was already buzzed short, so Shlomi made quick work with the razor. After a couple of minutes, Avi’s head was smooth, quite the contest to his full, blond beard.
Avi was out on night patrol, and Shlomi was back at base. At about three in the morning, the radio crackled, shots were fired, two soldiers were down, one unaccounted for. Shlomi was frantic, he found his CO, Yuval, who was hysterical himself, it was his boyfriends’ squad that had been hit. Yossi was lightly wounded, but someone had been taken by the attackers. Shlomi grabbed his helmet, and his gear, and ran to grab a jeep, Yuval was right behind, knowing there was no way to stop him. The Casbah was in chaos, army helicopters were flying above with bright search lights. All available units in the area were called in, and a house by house search was called for he missing soldier, as there was no way anyone could have been sneaked out of the city. Shlomi and Yuval found Yossi, he was being treated by a medic, he had been lightly wounded. "Avi, where is Avi", Shlomi screamed". Yossi shook his head, "we don’t know, we are looking for him". Shlomi fell to his knees, and his CO grabbed him by the shoulders "they can’t go far, the city has been sealed, we will find him". Shlomi took off, but Yuval grabbed him. "You are not going anywhere", you will either kill someone or get yourself killed, stay here with Yossi, I will join the search team.
Hours passed, and Avi could not be found. Shlomi could not sleep, drinking coffee, and pacing back at the base. He was not allowed out, as the guards were warned. Shlomi spoke with Avi’s parents who were at his parents house, as they had become good friends. Shlomi’s mom was the a Social Worker, and was trained in handling situations like this. She somehow manager to keep Avi’s parents calm, but no one could sleep.
Finally, after three days, Avi was found. He had been tied up, and beaten, but was alive. The kidnappers had fled, leaving him alone in a shed, behind a shop in the Casbah. Yuval found Shlomi in his bunk, crying. "He’s alive, let’s go". Avi had been airlifted to Hadassah Hospital, in Jerusalem, and Yuval and Shlomi grabbed a jeep and raced to be there. After speeding through checkpoints, they made it to the hospital in short time. Leaving the jeep at the entrance to the Emergency entrance they raced in. The doctor handling Avi came out, to let the soldiers know that he was fine, he would recover. His wounds were not life-threatening, and he was strong. As soon as he was out of surgery they could go in and see him. Shlomi called his parents, and they were quickly on their way up to Jerusalem. Within a half an hour, the entire unit was waiting with Shlomi and Yuval, and both sets of parents.
An hour passed, and the doctor said they could see him, but only Shlomi and the parents. Avi was connected to wires and tubes his face and head was black and blue, and he had cuts and bruises all over his body. A heavy cast was on each of his legs, as they had broken both of his legs. He was in pain, but as soon as he saw Shlomi, he started to cry. Shlomi ran to Avi, and hugged him. Then Avi’s parents. Slowly, the rest of the unit filed into the room. The nurses tried to shoo them away, but they were not having it. It was all too much for Shlomi, and after days of no sleep and stress, he collapsed.
The nurse quickly attended to him, and he she quickly realized that he collapsed from exhaustion. The other soldiers put Shlomi in the bed to to Avi, and let him sleep. Shlomi slept an entire day, and when he awoke, he was unaware of what was going on. He was frightened, until he turned his head, and saw his lover, Avi, lying in the bed next to him. The nurse in the room came over as soon as she realized Shlomi was awake, and calmed him down, explaining to him what was going on. The next day, Yuval came by, to visit and let the both of them know that they were going discharged a week early, given the situation, and that the unit had packed their belongings, and those were home, in Tel Aviv with their parents. The hospital allowed Shlomi to stay in the room with Avi, and that helped Avi recover. After a week, Avi was released and they both went home.
They decided to stay at Shlomi’s house, since there was a bathroom and next to the bedroom, and it was all on one floor. Since being discharged, they started to grow their hair back, but Avi was, at this point completely bald. Both of them had plans to travel to South America after the army, like most soldiers do, but they weren’t going anywhere until Avi was healed. After a couple of months Avis’ cast came off, and they could take a shower together again. Avi and Shlomi embraced in the shower, and Avi put is hand in Shlomi’s now growing hair. To Avi’s surprise, clumps of hair came out in both his hands. "Shlomi, your hair". Shlomi looked at the hair in Avi’s hands. And ran his hands through his wet hair. Clumps of hair were coming out of his head. The two quickly dried off, and when Shlomi dried is hair, there was hair in the towel. Shlomi looked in the mirror, his hairline was a mess, with patches of hair missing all over the top of his head. Avi, brush my hair. Avi too a brush off the counter, and started to brush Avi’s hair. More and more hair came out. "I can’t do this, Avi cried", but Shlomi said, not to stop, until his hair stopped coming out. After about another half and hour, it stopped. When he was finished, most of Shlomi’s hair was gone, what was left was very thin, and wispy. "OK, now shave it" Shlomi said. Avi found a pair of clippers, and clipped the rest of Shlomi’s hair. Now it was Avis’ turn, and Shlomi clipped what was left of Avis hair to the scalp. Then they both jumped back into the shower, and shaved each other smooth.
The following week, when the rest of the unit was to be discharged, they all got together, there was not a single hair on the head of any of the soldiers or officers in the unit!