20 Sep AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ Campaign Completes Visits with Syunik Families
The Armenian Youth Federation’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign had reported on the assistance provided to first group of families of fallen soldiers in Syunik in the past. The stories of the second group (also numbering four) were featured a few weeks later.
In the past, the With Our Soldiers task force has reported on assistance provided to the families of fallen heroes from Artsakh, as well as Gegharkunik, Tavush, Armavir, and Kotayk regions of Armenia. In the coming weeks, reports will be provided to the community on the efforts aimed at reaching out to the families of the remaining soldiers and volunteers from the remaining regions of Armenia who gave their lives for Artsakh.
In all instances, the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign allocated $1,000 to the family of each fallen soldier, with an extra $250 payment for each child. Also, receipts were obtained from the family members who have received the financial assistance in order to ensure transparency and accountability to our supporters and the community.
Today, the campaign is reporting on the efforts made to reach out to the remaining 5 of the 13 families, who lost a loved one during the Four Day War. Below you will find brief biographies of the last five of our volunteers from Syunik region who died during the drone strike against the bus that was transporting them to the front lines on April 4th. Their names are Sergey Danghyan, Eduard Aleksanyan, Mayis Mirzoyan, Sedrak Asryan, and Yeghishe Nikalyan.
Along with the information about the fallen freedom fighters gathered during our visits to the families, biographical data about the soldiers was culled from the Vorotan website.
Sergey Danghyan (b. 1958) from Sisian was a veteran of the Artsakh Liberation Movement. He was on the front lines during the war and helped defend the positions of the Armenian forces on the Fizuli (Varanda) – Horadiz line until the signing of the ceasefire in 1994. Danghyan was awarded multiple medals for his service and was a member of a group known as Sworn Freedom Fighters. A graduate of the Goris Technical College, Sergey worked for many years as a driver at a local hydroelectric plant. He left behind his wife, Aida, and three adult children. Danghyan’s family was given $1,000 through the With Our Soldiers campaign.
Eduard Aleksanyan (b. 1955) was a career serviceman, who had participated in the defense of the borders of Armenia against the Azeri aggression throughout the duration of the Artsakh Liberation Movement (1988 – 1994). In that capacity, Aleksanyan fought in various battles near Berdzor, Zangelan (1992), Fizuli (Varanda), and Horadiz regions (1993), and by 1994, he was appointed as a commander of the one of the Artillery Divisions of the Armenian Army. Major Aleksanyan had retired from the military in 2006, having earned multiple medals and honors for exemplary service. He left behind his wife and three adult children. Aleksanyan’s family was given $1,000 through the With Our Soldiers campaign.
Mayis Mirzoyan (b. 1956) was the native of the Darbas village near Sisian (Syunik) and a veteran of the Artsakh War. Having served in the Soviet Army (1974 – 1977), Mirzoyan returned to Syunik and graduated from the Sisian Polytechnic Institute (1977 – 1979). Since the start of the Artsakh Liberation Movement (1988), Mayis was on the front lines, defending the borders of Armenia and then fighting in Berdzor. By 1993, he was a commander of one of the units in Artsakh, and he was wounded during battles for the village of Vakunis (Karvajar) on March 31, 1993. Upon being treated for his wounds, Mayis Mirzoyan returned to the front lines and fought the enemy until the ceasefire agreement was signed in May of 1994. Mirzoyan then served in the Armenian Army, earning multiple awards and medals and retiring in 2011 in the rank of a Lieutenant General. After his retirement, Mirzoyan was elected as the head of the Darbas community (2012) and remained in that position until his death. He left behind his wife, Artsvik, and four adult children. Mirzoyan’s family was given $1,000 through the With Our Soldiers campaign.
Sedrak Asryan (b. 1972) was well-known in his native village of Darbas as a poet and a man with a great sense of humor. Having joined the newly-formed Armenian Armed Forces, Sedrak Asryan fought in various battles throughout Artsakh during the course of 1992 and 1993, participating in the efforts to liberate the regions of Kubatlu (Sanasaravan), Zangelan (Kovsakan), and Jebrail (Jrakan). Towards the end of the war, he, along with other volunteers, helped defend the positions of the Armenian forces on the Fizuli (Varanda) – Horadiz line and was wounded during the fighting. A graduate of the Sisian Professional Technical College, Sedrak Asryan was married to his wife Laura, and they had two children together – a son, Karen (b. 1999) and a daughter, Mariam (b. 1995). Asryan’s family was given $1,500 through the With Our Soldiers campaign.
Yeghise Nikalyan (b. 1961) was born in the village of Ltzen (near Sisian). Having graduated from a local high school after eight years of education (1976), Nikalyan continued his studies at the Yerevan Professional Technical College (graduated 1979). After completing his compulsory military service in the Soviet Army (1978 – 1981), Yeghishe moved back to Ltzen, where he worked as a driver. During the Artsakh Liberation Struggle, Nikalyan defended the borders of Syunik (beginning in 1992) and then participated in battles in Lachin (Berdzor) and Zangelan (Kovsakan) (December 1992), earning multiple awards and a rank of a Sergeant. Yeghishe Nikalyan left behind his wife, Aziz, and two adult children. Nikalyan’s family was given $1,000 through the With Our Soldiers campaign.
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 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.