GLENDALE—The Armenian Youth Federation’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign had completed its original mission of distributing financial assistance to the families of the fallen heroes of the Four Day War and the ceasefire violations since then. The families of 108 soldiers and volunteers, who had lost their lives in combat between April 1 and December 31, 2016 were visited by the members of the committee, and a total of $126,500 has been distributed to them.
In the spirit of accountability, the ‘With Our Soldiers’ committee will continue to publish periodic updates and a monthly press release summarizing its work for the previous month. Below is the recounting of our activities during the first month of the year.
In January, the AYF continued its efforts to reach out to the families of those who lost their loved ones protecting our Homeland. A total of $3,000 was sent to Armenia to be disbursed to the families of Shavarsh Melikyan from Shirak (b. 1990), Edgar Narayan from Yerevan (b. 1995), and Erik Abovyan from Lori (b. 1996). This brings the total number of families that will be assisted via the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign since April, 2016 to 111. We will publish the biographies and photographs from the visits in subsequent press releases as well as on our Facebook page.
According to the information released by the Armenian Defense Ministry, three more soldiers lost their lives in January as a result of the violation of the ceasefire by the Azeris: Garik Vardanyan from Ararat province (b. 1996, died in hospital on January 15), Andranik Musikyan from Gegharkunik (b. 1997, shot by the enemy on January 18), and Karen Ulubabyan from Martuni, Artsakh (b. 1995, shot by the enemy on January 23). The AYF remains committed to sending a one-time sum to assist the families of our fallen heroes, and we will follow through on that commitment in the weeks ahead.
In late December, and again, on the Armenian Army Day (January 28, 2017), the AYF representatives in Armenia, along with members of the local ARF bodies, visited the frontlines, distributing more than $2,500-worth of non-military supplies to the soldiers stationed in Talish and Tonashen. Among the items taken were warm clothes and socks for the soldiers, batteries, linens, and other materials requested by the local commanders.
The ‘With Our Soldiers’ committee has also announced that the AYF will hold a public commemorative event to honor our fallen heroes on the first anniversary of the Four Day War. The commemoration will take place on Sunday, April 2nd at 6PM at the Avedissian Hall of the Ferrahian Armenian High School (5300 White Oak Ave, Encino, CA). Additional information will be released to the public in the coming weeks.
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 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.