AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ Campaign Distributes $6,000 to the Families of Fallen Soldiers in Kotayk


KOTAYK PROVINCEThe Armenian Youth Federation’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. The representatives of the campaign visited the families of the 6 servicemen from different parts of Kotayk province, killed during the April events, delivering $6,000 in assistance. As in the past, the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign allocated $1,000 to the family of each fallen soldier.

Detailed report on the families that have been served through the ‘With Our Soldiers’ program, including receipts signed by the family members who have received the financial assistance, are periodically released by the task force. Below you will find information on the fallen soldiers from Kotayk visited by the representatives of the WOS campaign along with accompanying videos that tell their stories:

Artur Gevorgyan (b. 1997) was born in the family of a shoemaker, Garnik, and homemaker, Gyulnara in Abovyan. Garnik taught his son his trade, and the father and the son worked together in Russia. Artur was known for his musical talent and his skill as a painter. When Artur turned 18, he surprised his family by returning to Armenia in order to voluntarily join the Army, and he truly loved being in the military. He served along with other fallen soldiers, Karen Nersisyan and Azat Simonyan (also from Kotayk). Artur was named after his maternal uncle, who was killed in April 1994 during the Artsakh Liberation Struggle, also at the age of 18. The nephew tragically repeated his uncle’s fate in the Four Day War. Artur was described as kind, hardworking, and honest young man by his friends and neighbors. He was among one of the first martyrs of the war, dying on April 2nd in battles near Jebrail (Jrakan). Artur’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Artur Gevorgyan here: 

Gevork Mghdesyan (b. 1996) was the second son of Angel and Ashot Mghdesyan from the village of Nor Hachn in Kotayk province. Gevork served in Martakert, and was killed on the night of April 7th, when the Azeris once again violated the ceasefire agreement. His older brother is now relieved from military service since their family has sustained a loss during military operations. Gevork’s parents, as all others, are extremely affected by this loss: when our crew visited their home, they were barely able to speak about their son. We did learn, however, that Gevork enjoyed working with technology: he loved radios, phones, and various tools of communication. Gevork’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. Here is the link about the circumstances of Gevork’s death: http://hartak.am/arm/n-57100 (no video available).

Karen Nersisyan (b. 1997) from Bzhni (near Charentsavan) was serving with his friends Artur Gevorgyan and Azat Simonyan near Jebrayil (Jrakan): he had been conscripted 8 months before his death.  The three friends died together on the night of April 2nd defending the Armenian positions near Lele Tape (Jrakan). Karen’s parents – simple working people who run a small grocery in Bzhni – did not have any news about their son for a week, and his father, Artak, went to Artsakh to see if he could find out anything. Soon, the family learned about Karen’s death. Karen was studying to become an architect. He had one younger brother, who will now be relieved from military service. Karen’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. Here is a link to a video that give some information about Karen Nersisyan: 

Sargis Sahakyan (b. 1995) lived with his mother, Tamar Ghazaryan in a rental apartment in Charentsavan; his father, Armenak currently resides in Russia. Sargis’ family left for Russia when he was only four years old. After his parents’ divorce, Sargis and his mother returned back to Armenia, where the young man joined the Army. Sargis was very athletic and played soccer. He was an exemplary soldier who liked being in the military and was liked by his fellow servicemen. Sargis was killed on April 4th near Talish, leaving behind his mother and sister. The young man was a history buff. During our team’s visit, there was a history book next to Sargis’ pictures that his family had found that mentioned a certain Sargis Sahakyan who died in Artsakh 100 years ago, also fighting against the enemy. The family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Sargis Sahakyan here: 

Azat Simonyan (b. 1996) was one of three children born into the family of Kaijk and Vehanush in the village of Kamaris (Kotayk), and was their only son. He was a very active kid, who was always looking for adventures and ways to express his creative side. Azat practiced kickboxing and studied to be a chef, but ultimately dreamed about becoming a famous actor. The young man’s family never knew that he was on the front lines: he was assigned to the computer room, but volunteered to defend the position at Lele Tape (Jrakan), which was ultimately lost to the Azeris. A number of Armenian soldiers, including Azat, lost their lives, trying to prevent the enemy advance in that direction. The soldiers who served with Azat remember that he would always sing the song “Mayrik” while standing on duty. Azat never saw his sister’s child, who was born recently; he had planned to visit his relatives in mid-April, but his life was tragically cut short on April 2nd. The family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Azat here: 

Vahe Zakaryan (b. 1995) from Hrazdan was one of family’s three children and the only son.

His friends, family, and teachers describe Vahe as a hardworking, disciplined individual, and a good student. Vahe served in a tank brigade, and managed to destroy a number of enemy’s soldiers during the early battles of the Four Day War, saving many of his fellow servicemen and friends. Vahe was an accomplished athlete: he had practiced karate for 11 years, won multiple awards, and obtained two black belts. He died near Jebrail (Jrakan) on April 2nd along with the rest of his tank crew. The family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Vahe here: 

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.


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