Izzy Ezagui is a one-armed commander who was injured in combat. In May 2011, Shimon Peres, President of Israel, awarded him the highest accolade a soldier outside the battlefield can receive.
Born and raised in America, Izzy was invited to join an educational group travelling to Israel when he was 19. He went in search of fun and returned committed to joining the Israeli army. Soon after he finished his training, war broke out on the border of Gaza. Two weeks later, he was hit by a mortar and lost his left arm. That didn’t stop him either. His first thought in the hospital was that he must return to combat. Most people thought he was dreaming, but two months later, he was lucky enough to meet a general who would give him that chance. Soon he was doing one-armed pushups, climbing rope, shooting assault rifles, and pulling out grenade pins with his teeth.
Izzy has worked with religious and non-Jewish groups, amputee organization, schools, colleges, universities, hedge funds, and corporate events for companies such as Nike, Apple, and EO. He lives in Brooklyn, NY and is a full-time speaker, blogger, and writer, and has appeared on the top Israeli television news shows, Israeli National News Channel 7, and Channel 2 News; Fox News, The Huffington Post, and the Jerusalem Post.
He receives and accepts invitations to speak at many events around the world, and has addressed audiences of well over one thousand on the topics of disabled veterans, victims of terror, and the Israeli army. He also mentors numerous youth groups.
His story is not over, far from it. He continues to serve in the military reserves in an elite unit that will play a big part in any battle that Israel faces in the coming years.