‘With Our Soldiers’ Campaign Helps Families of Fallen Heroes in Armenia’s Tavush and Lori Provinces
LORI, TAVUSH, Armenia—The Armenian Youth Federation’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign is continuing to report on its work to deliver funds to the families of servicemen and volunteers who were killed in action during the Four Day War. As of August 15, 2016, the campaign has reached out to 82 families, distributing a total of $96,750 in assistance. The WOS task force has also periodically featured the stories of fallen heroes in its press releases, and today the biographies of servicemen from Tavush and Lori, who were killed in action in April, are presented, along with the breakdown of the monetary aid provided to their families.
As in the past, the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign allocated $1,000 to the family of each fallen soldier, with an extra $250 payment for each child. A total of $7,250 was distributed to six families of fallen soldiers in Tavush and Lori, including the families of two servicemen (Nodarik Margaryan and Karen Davtyan) who had children and dependents. The ‘With Our Soldiers task force is once again providing a detailed report on the families that have been served through the program, including receipts signed by the family members who have received the financial assistance.
Nodarik Margaryan (b. 1963) from the village of Gugark (Meghrut) had a difficult life: he lost his father at a young age, his wife passed away recently, and his youngest son was born with a disability. As the war broke out, the 52-year old Nodardik – who had settled in Mataghis (Artsakh) with his family and served as a driver in the local military unit – sent his children to Armenia and went to defend the frontline. He was killed in action during the first hours of the Four Day War. The friends and the villagers describe Nodarik as a hardworking, patriotic man who loved his family and his neighbors. Nodarik left behind daughter, Lusine (30 y.o.), who is divorced and has an 8-year old kid, two sons, Zorik and Narek, and his 81-year old mother. Narek, who is 24, has a disability that prevents him from working. Zorik lives in Russia on a permanent basis, and after Nodarik’s passing, is the sole provider for the family. Given the unique circumstances of this family, the With Our Soldiers campaign provided $1,750 to Nodarik’s daughter, Lusine, who is taking care of the remaining family members. To learn more about Nodarik’s family, a video is available below.
Karen Davtyan (b. 1981) was a career officer who had served in the Armed Forces for the past 14 years, and worked two jobs in order to take care of his family and buy a new home for his children. Marine, Karen’s wife of four years, and their two children, the three-and-a-half year old daughter, Anahit, and the two-and-a-half year old son, Argishti, recently moved into their new apartment in Vanadzor, but the head of their household was not with them. Karen Davtyan passed away on the night of April 6th, in a snow avalanche, while driving to the front lines to replace the servicemen stationed there. Out of the group of 8 soldiers, Karen was the only one who lost his life. Karen’s family received $1,500 from the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about Karen’s family, a video is available below.
Hayk Minasyan (b. 1996) had returned from the Ukraine a few years ago: his family had lived in foreign shores for a number of years before deciding to move back to their native Vanadzor. A student at the European Regional College (Vanadzor), Hayk was described as a serious and bright individual and an intellectually curious student. A participant of the Four Day War, Hayk Minasyan lost his life on April 26th during an Azeri incursion. The 20-year old, who had joined the Army in 2014, only had a few months left to complete his compulsory military service. Hayk’s neighbors recently renovated the playground in front of his house and dedicated it in his memory and will soon have a plaque in the yard commemorating Hayk Minasyan. Hayk’s family was given $1,000 by the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about this initiative, a video is available below.
Artak Petrosyan (b. 1997) was the younger of the family’s two sons. He was not enthusiastic about attending school, but loved artistic and athletic pursuits: painting, fishing, and boxing were his passions. Artak also enjoyed military service, and was highly praised by the commanders in the tank unit where he served. On April 4th, Artak saved a number of fellow servicemen from sure death by taking his tank in the direction of the enemy while sacrificing his own life in order to protect the infantrymen on the front lines. Artak Petrosyan was awarded a Military Cross medal by the Armenian government for his courageous service. Artak was described as a kind, energetic, and humorous young man with passion for military affairs. Soon, a classroom will be dedicated in memory of Artak Petrosyan at the school that he attended in his native village of Metsavan. Artak’s family was given $1,000 by the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about Artak Petrosyan and his family, a video is available below.
Vladimir Alikhanyan (b. 1996) first served in Hoktemberyan (Armenia), but was later moved to become a commander of a tank unit in Fizuli (Artsakh). His unit was taken to the front lines in Jrakan (Jebrail) at the start of the Four Day War. On April 3rd, having fought until the last piece of ammunition, Valdimir was returning to the Armenian positions along with two other servicemen, Tigran Abgaryan (Shirak province) and Beniamin Yeghoyan (Shirak province), when their tank was hit by the enemy. All three servicemen died on the spot. Vladimir’s parents, Varuzhan and Anna, said that their son had only 78 days left until the completion of military service. Valdimir had left high school in 9th grade and entered the State College of his native Dilijan. He graduated from that institution in 3 years with a degree in Economics and worked for a year before joining the Army. Despite his educational background, Vladimir wanted to continue his career in the military and continue working with tanks. He was an exemplary serviceman, and had been given a watch for good service by the Armenian Defense Minister shortly before his death. Vladimir’s family was given $1,000 by the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about Vladimiar and his family, a video is available below.
Garik Movsisyan (b. 1997) from the Zorakan village of Tavush had graduated high school in 2014, enrolled in the local chapter of the Yerevan State University for one year, and then joined the Armenian Army (July of 2015). Having distinguished himself during military service, Garik was elevated to rank of a Junior Sergeant and was given a command of a unit. On April 30th, the enemy attacked the positions of the Armenian forces along the line of contact, and Garik Movsisyan lost his life during the operations aimed at repelling the attack. His parents, Mnatsakan and Anahit, have now lost their second child: Garik’s sister died of food poisoning a few years earlier. Garik was a straight A student, a true patriot, and a favorite of everyone in the village. An avid athlete, Garik Movsisyan was a fearless and optimistic person, who died while trying to save his fellow serviceman. Garik’s family was given $1,000 by the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about Garik and his family, a video is available below.
The AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign, originally launched in 2012, was restarted in the aftermath of the Four Day War with the aim of providing assistance to the families of the fallen soldiers. To learn more about the campaign or to make a donation today, you can visit www.withoursoldiers.com.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the world, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian youth.