07 Jul AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ Campaign Distributes $5,000 to the Families of Fallen Soldiers in Armavir
The AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign has continued its efforts to provide financial relief to the families of soldiers, who have lost their lives during the Four Day War and in its aftermath. During the past few days, the campaign representatives in Armenia visited the families of 5 fallen heroes from Armavir region of Armenia.
As in the past, the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign allocated $1,000 to the family of each fallen soldier and another $250 for each child in the family. The total amount of funds provided to the families in Armavir region was $5,000. The campaign has also taken steps to inform the community about the work that is being done on the ground in Armenia and provide our supporters with documentation verifying the delivery of funds (see attached receipts).
Below you will find information on the fallen soldiers from Kotayk visited by the representatives of the WOS initiative along with accompanying videos that tell their stories. Additional information can be found on the campaign’s website www.withoursoldiers.com.
Nikolay Hovsepyan (b. 1953) went to Artsakh as a volunteer because he believed that the new generation of soldiers needed experienced commanders to guide them during challenging times. A native of Kirovabad (Gandzak) and a veteran of the Artsakh Liberation Movement (1988 – 1994), Nikolay Hovsepian and his wife Raisa, originally from Baku, had settled in Echmiadzin in the aftermath of the first war. The couple had been married for 26 years, and though they did not have any children, they were very happy together. Raisa is devastated by the loss of her husband, who died on April 6th near Jebrail (Jrakan). Despite her immense grief, she proudly served our crew apricots gathered from a tree that Nikolay himself had planted in their yard. The family of Nikolay Hovsepyan was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign.
Gor Kirakosyan (b. 1996) was one of two sons of Gayane and Karapet Kirakosyans from the city of Arevik in Armavir province. He was trained as a mechanic, and his main responsibility was to deliver food to the soldiers on the front lines. The region of Mataghis (Martakert), where Gor was serving, frequently came under Azeri fire, and the young man had once narrowly escaped a sniper’s shot. Gor last spoke to his mother on the morning of his death: he was in a hurry to take food to the soldiers. He was killed on the way back from the front lines. Gor’s father, who was working in Russia at the time, was told his son was wounded, but found out about Gor’s death at the Moscow airport, on his way back to Armenia. Gor Kirakosyan was described as daring, courageous, and secretive by friends and family. He had three months left until the end of his compulsory military service. Gor’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign.
Sasha Galstyan (b. 1996) and a few of his friends rushed to the front lines on the evening of April 2nd to help the fighters repelling the Azeri attacks on Jebrail (Jrakan), but were surrounded by the enemy and lost their lives in an unequal battle with the invaders. Sasha was a student at a medical college, and was studying to be a doctor, something he had dreamed about since middle school. His parents, mother Sophi and father Vachagan, had instilled patriotic feelings in both Sasha and his sister since early childhood, and the young man was guided by those sentiments as he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country during the Four Day War. Sasha was described by the family as an introverted person, who did not share his secrets and did not talk much about his military service. Sasha’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign.
Boris Ozmanyan (b. 1996) from the Taronik village of Armavir was one of three Yezidi soldiers who lost their lives defending Artsakh during the Four Day War (along with Kyaram Sloyan and Hamlet Hajoyan). On April 3rd, Boris’ family had been told that their son was wounded near Jebrail (Jrakan), but when they called his cell phone on their way to Artsakh, an Azeri answered, saying that the owner of the phone had been killed. The grief-stricken parents could say little about their son or his death: Boris’ father, Rafik, mentioned that he had no knowledge of how his son lost his life, but that he had been injured in the chest and knee. Boris’ body had been retrieved by the Red Cross during an exchange with the Azeris, and the young man was buried in his native village on April 13th. Boris’ family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign.
Aram Abrahamyan (b. 1996) was a talented pianist from the village of Artimet who played the piano for the past seven years. He was the fourth of the family’s five children (2 boys and 3 girls). On the morning of April 4th, the young man spoke to his siblings for the last time: he died from a strike from a GRAD instillation in his trench in Jabrail (Jrakan) that afternoon. Aram was described as hardworking, daring, and universally loved by friends and family. He was also an avid reader: his sister would send him books to read even when he was in the Army. The cherry tree planted in his family’s home is now named after the young soldier. Aram’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign.
The family of two other fallen heroes from Armavir – those of Aramayis Mikayelyan and Hovsep Kirakosyan – were assisted in May with the funds raised by Pilibos Armenian students. You can access the article featuring their stories here: http://asbarez.com/151515/pilibos-students-visit-families-of-10-fallen-heroes-during-armenia-trip/.
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.