An Update From AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ Committee

WithOurSoldiers1 (1)
AYF's With Our Soldiers Campaign

AYF’s With Our Soldiers Campaign

GLENDALE—In 2017, 26 Armenian soldiers have been killed by Azerbaijani fire and landmine explosions. At least 7 out of the 26 were born in the year 1998, which made them 19 years old and 10 out of the 26 were born in the year 1997, which made them 20.

The “With Our Soldiers” Committee informs all community members that Azerbaijani aggression shows no signs of halting and hostilities at the frontlines still remain very active. Armenian soldiers are killed every couple of weeks as the ceasefire regime is violated by Azerbaijan on a daily basis.

To put things into perspective, in the last week alone, Azerbaijani forces violated the ceasefire more than 200 times, firing over 2300 shots at the Line of Contact. Azerbaijan has proven yet again that it has no respect for the ceasefire regime.

As we enter this season of family, friends, and festivities, it is also important for us to be mindful of our brothers serving for our country and protecting our borders. Therefore, with the holidays around the corner, the committee urges all supporters and community members to donate to this worthy cause so that we can once again aid the soldiers serving the frontlines and all those affected by Azerbaijani aggression.

Since the “April War” and the restart of the “With Our Soldiers” campaign, the committee has raised over $150,000 that it has dispersed to about 130 families of fallen soldiers, and through the delivery of supplies to local soldiers in Artsakh. With work currently in progress, the committee is organizing plans to once again continue supplying the frontlines with various supplies, such as weather protective goggles, power generators, and gloves as a part of With Our Soldiers 3.0 that includes other components as well.

Although there is no all out war like last April, soldiers are still dying, families are being left without breadwinners, and children are being left without their fathers. President Aliyev has enforced a political climate where xenophobic behavior towards Armenians is being promoted and those who murder Armenians are being rewarded.

We saw this recently with Azerbaijani ax murderer Ramil Safarov being promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel of his country’s armed forces. We also see this with Armenian community leaders as well as Members of Congress pursuing the path of justice for Armenians being blacklisted for visiting Artsakh.

And simultaneously, meetings between Armenian and Azerbaijani diplomats with representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group are showing slow signs of progress. Therefore, it’s up to members of the diaspora to stand in solidarity with the Armenian people and assist. The “April War” of 2016 became a test for Armenians all around the world to see how prepared we were to address the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters in the homeland.

It is absolutely necessary for our community to unite during this time of need to assist our soldiers, especially with the cold Armenia winter approaching. The ‘With Our Soldier’ Committee is prepared to personally make visits to the military bases it plans to aid.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks as plans become finalized. However, it is imperative that we have the support of our community in order to move forward with our efforts and achieve all the goals we have set out.

The AYF’s “With Our Soldiers” campaign, originally launched in 2012, provided medical services and assistance to more than 80 veterans of the Artsakh Liberation Movement. To learn more about the WOS campaign or to make a donation today, you can visit withoursoldiers.com.

Founded in 1933 with organizational structures in over 17 regions around the world and a legacy of over eighty years of community involvement, 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.

From the website of the Defense Ministry of Artsakh and the Defense Ministry of Armenia: The names of the soldiers killed in 2017 by Azerbaijani fire and landmine explosions.

26. November 21, 2017: Sargis Melikyan (b. 1997)
25. November 21, 2017: Sargis Abrahamyan (b. 1998)
24. November 21, 2017: Gegham Zakaryan (b. 1995)
23. October 19, 2017: Tigran Khachatryan (b. 1998)
22. October 11, 2017: Chaplin Margaryan (b. 1998)
21. September 28, 2017: Seyran Sargsyan (b. 1998)
20. September 1, 2017: Hayk Khachatryan (b. 1998)
19. August 27, 2017: Artak Bisharyan (b. 1991)
18. August 14, 2017: Arman Movsisyan (b. 1998)
17. July 10, 2017: Vazgen Poghosyan (b. 1997)
16. June 17, 2017: Narek Gasparyan (b. 1997)
15. June 16, 2017: Arayik Matinyan (b. 1997.
14. June 16, 2017: Vigen Petrosyan (b. 1997.
13. June 16, 2017: Vardan Sargsyan (b. 1997.
12. May 26, 2017: Armen Harutyunyan (b. 1996)
11. May 20, 2017: Karen Danielyan (b. 1996)
10. April 28, 2017: Mher Arzumanyan (b. 1998)
9. April 24, 2017: Narek Harutyunyan (b. 1997)
8. March 31, 2017: Gor Hovhannisyan (b. 1993)
7. March 28, 2017: Artak Rafaelyan (b. 1997)
6. March 1, 2017: Nver Babajanyan (b. 1980)
5. February 8, 2017: Gegham Manukyan (b. 1979)
4. February 6, 2017: Gor Gareginyan (b. 1997)
3. January 22, 2017: Karen Ulubabyan (b. 1995)
2. January 18, 2017: Andranik Musikyan (b. 1997)
1. January 16, 2017: Garik Vardanyan (b. 1996)(wounded on Dec. 20, 2016)

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