ANCA-WR to Honor Armenian U.S. Military Veterans at Annual Banquet

Army Lieutenant Adrineh Shahijanian-Gouloomian

GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region announced that it will honor several Armenian American U.S. military veterans at the 2011 ANCA-WR Annual Banquet, which will take place on Saturday, November 26 at the Universal Sheraton Hotel.

Among the veterans being honored are Marine Staff Sergeant Baleny Minas, and Army Lieutenant Adrineh Shahijanian Gouloomian for their selfless and honorable service in the Iraq Theater. Their efforts on behalf of the U.S. military personify Hai Tahd: to advance the Armenian Cause while remaining steadfast in their dedication to the United States of America.

Marine Staff Sergeant Baleny Minas

“Every year, Americans mark Veterans’ Day to honor our military servicemen and servicewomen. It is of special significance to honor them this year, on the tenth anniversary of September 11, in recognition of the many sacrifices they have made throughout their service in Afghanistan, Iraq and other armed conflicts,” said ANCA-WR Board chairman Andrew Kzirian.

In 2001, Lt. Adrineh Shahijanian Gouloomian became the 34th female Kiowa Warrior pilot in U.S. history. The Army only began allowing women to fly combat aircraft in the early 1990s.

Gouloomian served as platoon leader of the Outlaw Troop of Fort Carson’s Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, and was awarded the Army Air Medal and the Bronze Star. By the end of her service, Gouloomian had become an executive officer of some 500 soldiers and reconnaissance helicopter pilots. She was medically discharged in 2004 after suffering injuries when, to avoid RPG fire, she crash-landed her Kiowa Warrior.

Kiowa Warriors are low-flying combat helicopters, and piloting them is dangerous because insurgents often target them for assault. While women have flown helicopters in the U.S. Army for three decades, it has been in transport helicopters. A Kiowa Warrior, on the other hand, is primarily used for finding and destroying enemy tanks.

Adrineh Gouloomian and her husband, Ara, live in San Francisco and are the parents of two children, Garen and Lucynne.

Marine Staff Sergeant Baleny Minas entered the Marine Corps in February 2000. She served her first tour of duty in the Iraq Theater from March 2004 to July 2004, and then was redeployed from February 2005 to October 2005.

Minas provided ground support and served as an equipment manager for Bell AH-1 SuperCobra Helicopters and Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters, known in military parlance as Hueys. After her return to the United States, she finished her contract in the active reserves in 2007.

She was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, and meritoriously promoted to corporal, sergeant and staff sergeant during her military career.

Minas completed her undergraduate education in Political Science with a concentration in Middle East Politics from UCLA. She received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from USC in 2006. Since 2008, Minas has been working at Raytheon as the manufacturing operations manager for F-15 and F-18 radar systems.

Tickets for the Annual Banquet are $200. Students with valid ID can purchase discounted tickets.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.


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  1. Raffi Hamparian said:

    Congratulations to the ANCA-WR for recognizing the service and sacrifice of Armenian American military veterans. These individuals continue a century-old and very proud tradition of Armenian Americans serving with distinction in our armed forces. My dad was a proud World War II veteran – having served in the US Navy.

    • Aramik said:

      World War II armed forces had a reason to fight Raffi. These people don’t!!!!! I figured you would be smart enough to see the DISTINCTION. Keep up the excellent work!!!!

  2. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    I’m so proud of our Armenian women. Now that’s the kind of women I like. The can do just like you kind. And I thought only Israeli women could do such things.

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