ASKERAN/KASHATAGH/MARTAKERT, Artsakh—The efforts of the AYF’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign to disburse funds to the families of fallen soldiers, who lost their lives during the Four Day War and in its aftermath, continued during the recent weeks. The representatives of the campaign visited the regions of Askeran, Kashatagh, and Martakert, and distributed $6,000 to the families of 4 servicemen who were killed in early April. You can watch the video report of the visits with the families here:
As in the past, the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign allocated $1,000 to the family of each fallen soldier, with an extra $250 payment for each child. Three of the four soldiers, whose families were assisted during this phase of the campaign, had children. Overall, 24 servicemen and military personnel from different regions of Artsakh gave their lives in service of the Homeland, and the AYF delivered about $33,000 to those families. In the coming days, press releases will be published featuring the visits with the families in Martuni, Stepanakert and Shushi.
The With Our Soldiers task force is providing a detailed report on the families that have been served through the program, including receipts signed by the family members who have received the financial assistance. Below you will find a brief biography of each fallen soldiers, with respective video reports and individual clips about them and their families.
Onik Grigoryan (b. 1978) was born in the village of Khramort (Askeran) in the family of a commander of local self-defense forces, Karo Grigoryan, who took an active role in the liberation of his native village from Azeri invaders in the summer of 1993. A graduate of the Artsakh Institute of Physical Culture, Onnik followed the footsteps of his father, and joined the military as a career officer. He is described as a true patriot, a family man, and an exemplary officer revered by his soldiers. Onik along with four other high-ranking officers (Aleksan Arakelyan, Roman Poghosyan, Suren Melkumyan, and Maksim Grigoryan) came to help his soldiers, and fought until the last bullet. For eight days, his family did not know what happened to Onik, until his body was returned to the Armenian side during an exchange on April 10th. You can learn more about Onik here:
Onik Grigoryan was the 34th freedom fighter from Khramort who gave his life for his country. He left behind his wife, Svetlana, and two children, Tatev (b. 2002) and Hovhannes (b. 2005). His last words, relayed through his commander, were for his son, Hovhannes: Onik told his son to take care of his sister, mother, and his native land. Onik’s family was given $1,500 by the WOS campaign.
Hamlet Hajoyan (b. 1970) was one of three Yezidi soldiers who have given their lives for Armenia during and in the aftermath of the Four Day War (along with Kyaram Sloyan and Boris Ozmanyan). He had moved to the village of Aghavnatuni in the Kashatagh district of Artsakh after joining the Armed Forces as a contract serviceman. Hamlet Hajoyan, the sole breadwinner in the family, left behind his wife, Satik, and two children, Hermine (b. 2000) and David (b. 2001). He was shot on April 14th while defending the Armenian positions near Talish. Hamlet’s family was given $1,500 by the WOS campaign. Here is an article announcing his death:
Gegham Mkrtchyan (b. 1986) was killed on April 3rd in Talish, without finding out that his wife of six months, Anush, was expecting their first child. Anush and Gegham had met while serving in the Armed Forces, Gegham as a contract serviceman, and Anush as an administrative employee in the same military unit. Gegham departed from his home in the village of Vank for the front lines on April 1st, having bid farewell to his wife. He called one last time in the morning of April 3rd to tell her to stay put and not leave the house while the situation on the border was not stable. Gegham died the same afternoon from enemy fire. You can watch a video footage of Anush Hyusnunts speaking about her husband here:
On May 28th, he was awarded the Order of Combat Cross (Martakan Khach) (second degree, posthumously) by the Armenian government. His grieving wife has decided that if she has a son, he will be named after his selfless and patriotic father, who sacrificed his life for the Homeland. Gegham’s family was given $1,000 by the WOS campaign.
Aram Arushanyan (b. 1972) lived in the village of Haterk in Martakert district of Artsakh with his wife, Ellada Dadanyan, and four children, two daughters, Varduhi (b. 2003) and Mary (b. 2006), and two sons, Ara (b. 2005) and Aren (b. 2011). A veteran of the Armed Forces and a skilled artilleryman, Arushanyan had joined the national liberation struggle in May of 1991, defending his native Martakert, and earned the rank of a Lieutenant General during his long career in the military. On April 2nd, the Arushanyan family was getting ready to celebrate the birthday of their youngest son, Aren, but the celebrations were interrupted by the news of Azeri attacks. Lieutenant Colonel Arushanyan rushed to the front lines, assisting the soldiers in Talish and then Mataghis. On the night of April 23rd, the Azeris violating the ceasefire and resumed shelling Martakert; Aram Arushanyan was killed while exchanging fire with Azeri aggressors on April 26th. On May 28th, he was awarded the Order of Combat Cross (Martakan Khach) (second degree, posthumously) by the Armenian government. Aram’s family was given $2,000 by the WOS campaign. You can learn more about Aram 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.