Beavercreek resident visits Israel


BEAVERCREEK — A long-time Beavercreek resident had a unique — albeit dangerous — opportunity to visit Israel early this month.

Clem Boyd took a solidarity trip sponsored by Magen David Adom, and Israeli organization affiliated with the Red Cross, from Dec. 4-8.

The opportunity was given to Boyd through Infinity Concepts, a Christian marketing agency where Boyd works as director of public relations.

Boyd, along with a small team, made their way to Kibbutz Be’eri, an Israeli-occupied town a mile east of Gaza that was hit first and hard by Hamas attacks. Boyd said the trip was a solidarity trip to support the paramedics, EMTs, and dispatchers of Magen David Adom to show support for the aid they give.

“To them, it meant the world that people were coming into their country during the war,” said Boyd. “It was both terrible and a privilege.”

According to Boyd, Magen David Adom is an Israeli-affiliate, and they only travelled in Israeli-occupied territory, but the first aid professionals also save Palestinian lives. Magen David Adom has reported 1,200 Israelis killed since the beginning of the war on Oct. 7, compared to more than 18,000 Palestinians.

Boyd said his faith played a major role in the decision to go on the trip.

“My wife and I talked and prayed about going,” he said. “We felt like this was something Jesus was calling us to do, and we definitely did it together as a couple.”

Although Boyd’s wife did not accompany him on the trip, he said “it felt like she was with me,” and made it a priority to video call each of the four days abroad.

“The couple of things that I took out of this was just how terrible humanity can be, the attacks on these villages were unprovoked and they were cruel, and I could feel the weight of it,” Boyd said. He pointed out the community in the town was strong, despite the devastating loss, and even during wartime these communities found time to plant flowers and plants where they could.

“We were in places that were very personal,” said Boyd. “To be allowed into these spaces is honestly an honor that I feel like I didn’t deserve.”

The trip was a sobering one for Boyd, who said he was honored to be chosen and grateful for the opportunity to meet both the first aid professionals for Magen David Adom, as well as the Israel Defence Forces, who accompanied them on their trip.

“This was my first time in Israel, and not your typical first-time Israel experience,” he said. “But I was so honored to meet these folks and to just say thank you.”

Boyd said he doesn’t have plans to return to Israel anytime soon, but the possibility is there. He wants to be open to all possibilities. Boyd says he doesn’t go on trips like this usually, unless he feels that “purpose.”

“I guess the reality is, Israel and the folks that we visited with Magen David Adom, they are prepared for the worst. And in addition to all that’s happened recently, you get a sense that they’re ready for anything that could happen,” he said. “The other thing is the bravery, the bravery of the paramedics, the EMTs, the dispatchers of Magen David Adom.”

After it was over, Boyd noted that both Magen David Adom and the IDF made him “feel safe,” and the IDF’s occupation of Kibbutz Be’eri added to that. Boyd said he had great respect for the paramedics and first responders in the area, especially due to the imminent threat of death every day in the field.

“We care about the Palestinian people too, and that should be expressed as well,” Boyd said, adding that Magen David Adom “saves all lives” without discrimination.

Overall, Boyd looks back on the trip with sobering fondness, and a great respect for the first responders in the war risking their own lives to save others.

“They are some of the best people in the world,” he said

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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