ARARAT, ARAGATSOTN, ARMAVIR, VAYOTS DZOR, Armenia—Throughout the month of October, the Armenian Youth Federation’s “With Our Soldiers” campaign representatives in Armenia continued the visits to the families of the fallen heroes of the Four Day War, who have not yet been served through the program. During the course of the past few weeks, five families in Aragatsotn, Vayots Dzor, Ararat, and Armavir provinces of Armenia were assisted through the campaign.
In addition, visits had been made to four other families in Ararat and Aragatsotn in the summer, but the committee had not informed the community about them because of the its commitment to reporting on fallen heroes from each region after assistance is provided to all families of fallen heroes from that specific marz of Armenia or Artsakh.
As in the past, the “With Our Soldiers” campaign allocated $1,000 to the family of each fallen soldier and another $250 for each child in the family. The total amount of funds provided during this phase of the visits to the nine families was $9,250 (the amount excludes the payments to the families which were reported in earlier press releases).
In the coming days, the AYF will report to the community on the financial disbursements to the families of fallen servicemen from Shirak and Yerevan – the last two remaining regions where the visits are still continuing. The majority of those visits have already been completed, and the details will be shared with the public in future press releases. Upon completion of those visits, the AYF will reach out to the families of Sanasar Grigoryan (Artsakh) and Gurgen Ayvazyan (Gegharkunik) who died from Azeri fire in the month of October.
Below you will find information on the fallen soldiers from the regions above visited by the representatives of the WOS initiative during the summer (June/July) and in the recent weeks (October).
Rafik Hakobyan (b. 1996) from the Karmrashen village of Aragatsotn region of Armenia served in one of the Artillery units of the Artsakh Armed Forces. He was stationed near Talish, and was one of the first soldiers killed during the April 2nd Azeri attack. Rafik had only two months left to complete his compulsory military service. Rafik’s family had lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, for four years prior to returning to Armenia; the main reason why they came back was for their son to be able to go to the Army and fulfill his military duty. Rafik was described as an honest and modest individual, dedicated to his friends and his country. His family was given $1,000 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. Learn more about Rafik Hakobyan:
Misha Aghajanyan (b. 1996) was a long-expected and only child in the family, who was born 10 years after his parents got married. The young man was named after his paternal uncle, who had lost his life in 1994 during the Artsakh Liberation Struggle. Misha not only repeated the fate of his namesake, but died in the same region of Artsakh (Martakert) as his uncle. Misha’s parents, who live in rather modest conditions and have serious health problems, both work at the school in their native Vardablur, the same one that Misha attended. One of the classrooms in that school was named after the young hero a few weeks ago. Misha’s family was given $1,000 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. Learn more about Misha Aghajanyan by clicking here.
The family of another soldier from Aragatsotn, Kyaram Sloyan, was visited by the Pilibos Armenian School students in the summer.
Seven brave soldiers from Ararat gave their lives for Artsakh during and in the aftermath of the Four Day War. The families of two of them were visited by Pilibos Armenian Students in the summer (Robert Abrahamyan and Zhora Yesayan, see press release below), another three (Andranik Zohrabyan, Aghasi Asatryan, and Henrik Ghahramanyan) were helped in June, and the last two families (those of Vahe Yeghoyan and Ashot Zohrabyan) were assisted in October.
Ashot Zohrabyan (b. 1991) was a career officer who had joined the Armenian Armed Forces after the completion of his compulsory military service and was a participant of the Four Day War. Ashot was described as a very neat and disciplined person and an excellent student. He followed in the footsteps of his maternal uncle and decided to become a military man. Ashot was known for his fair treatments of soldiers under his command, his courage and patriotism, which earned him the love and respect of all of his soldiers. On June 9th of last year, he got engaged, and was planning to get married on the same day this year. Ashot Zohrabyan was shot by an Azeri sniper on the night of May 1st near Martuni while inspecting the Armenian positions. Ashot’s younger brother is currently serving in the Army and is stationed near Talish (Artsakh). Along with parents and a brother, Ashot left behind a younger sister and a fiancé. His family was given $1,000 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. To learn more about Ashot Zohrabyan, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2h8lrLaxmI
Vahe Yegohyan (b. 1997) was another participant of the Four Day War who lost his life in the aftermath of the ceasefire, on May 25th while participating in a military operation against the enemy forces near Mataghis. The young man was drafted into the military only 10 months ago and had another year to finish his compulsory service. Vahe’s mother, a native of Artsakh, is a teacher at the Norabats village school, and his father is an agricultural worker. The parents had spoken to their son about an hour before the young man lost his life. Vahe has two brothers, one of whom is his twin; his older brother also served in the Army and was also stationed near Mataghis. Vahe was described as a calm, kind, and patriotic individual by his friends and neighbors. His family was given $1,000 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. Learn more about Vahe Yeghoyan:
Andranik Zohrabyan (b. 1996) from the city of Vedi was the oldest child in the family of Atom and Alla Zohrabyan. He was killed on April 2nd in Martakert during the early hours of the Azeri incursion. Andranik was fighting in the same location as Robert Abajyan, Armenak Urfanyan, and Kyaram Sloyan, as well as three other soldiers, who were the first to face the invading enemy. He died along with his three friends on the same night defending the strategic position, which, if taken, would have allowed the enemy to enter Martakert. Robert Abajyan, the Hero of Artsakh, himself wounded, tried to save Andranik, but did not succeed: both soldiers lost their lives after the third Azeri attack on their position. Their bodies were retrieved only on April 8th, after the Armenian forces were able enter the ‘neutral zone,’ where the bodies were found. Andranik was a very active young man, who played soccer since early childhood and dreamed about becoming a coach. He was studying culinary arts at the local college and wanted to work as a cook. Andranik had about three months left to complete his service and return home, where he was awaited by his parents and two younger sisters. His family was given $1,000 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. Learn more about Andranik Zohrabyan:
Aghasi Asatryan (b. 1996) and his friends were surrounded by the Azeris on the night of April 2nd near Talish. For 14 hours, they fought to take back one of the lost positions, and Aghasi lost his life during the fighting. The native of Masis, Aghasi was the oldest of three children in the family of Sarmen and Narine Asatryan. He is said to have loved music, dancing, and children. Aghasi was a courageous young man and loved life. He was the best friend for two of his younger sisters, Rita and Hripsime, with whom he shared everything. Aghasi Asatryan loved being in the Army, won a medal in a shooting competition, and passed the exams needed to become a spy. Prior to joining the military, he studied at the Masis State College and practiced kickboxing for many years. Aghasi’s family was given $1,000 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. Learn more about Aghasi Asatryan:
Henrik Gharamanyan (b. 1996) was born in Russia and lived there until the age of 7, when his family – parents and younger sister – returned home to Masis. Henrik was not a very talkative young man, but had a great sense of humor and loved to drive cars. During the first six months of his military service, Henrik served in Armenia (Lusakert), but then volunteered to go to Artsakh and was stationed near Talish. Henrik last spoke with his father on April 2nd and told him that everything is going well. For the next five days, the family had no news of their son until they were finally told that Henrik had died trying to save the lives of comrades in the battlefield. His parents, Rudolph and Ruzanna, say that despite the immense heartbreak, they are very proud that their son did not escape the battlefield and died a hero’s death. Henrik’s family was given $1,000 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. Learn more about Henrik Ghahramanyan:
• The families of two other fallen heroes from Ararat, Robert Abrahamyan and Zhora Yesayan were also visited by the Pilibos Armenian School students and the same press release contains information about them as well.
Aram Ohanyan (b. 1991) was shot near the border with Nakhichevan, in the Vayots Dzor region of Armenia by Azeri snipers on May 14th, 2016. Aram was a contract servicemen, who had signed up to work with the Armenian Army upon return from Russia a few years ago. Originally from the town of Jermuk, Senior Sergeant Ohanyan had gotten married three years ago: he and his wife, Arpine, have a two-year old son, Arthur, who will now be raised by his mother and grandmother, Ruzanna. Aram’s friends and relatives remember him as a hardworking, kind, and extraverted individual who loved life and the people around him. Aram’s family was given $1,250 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. To learn more about Aram Ohanyan, visit this website.
Sevak Khachatryan (b. 1997) from Arevik village of Armavir was a participant of the Four Day War. He survived the enemy attacks in April only to be shot by an Azeri sniper on September 26 in Hadrut. Sevak was an active member of the community and an excellent student at school. Thanks to his academic excellent, he was admitted into Yerevan State University, but chose to join the Armenian Armed Forces upon graduating high school (16 months ago) prior to continuing his education. He was a commander of one of the artillery units stationed on the front lines and was loved and respected by peers and commanding officers alike. Sevak was the youngest of the family’s three children. Sevak’s family was given $1,000 by the ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign. Learn more about Sevak Khachatryan:
Sevak Khachatryan was the latest casualty of the ceasefire violations from the Armavir region of Armenia. Seven more soldiers and volunteers from that region of Armenia were killed during the Four Day War in April. The AYF WOS campaign provided assistance to the families of the remaining fallen heroes from Armavir – Aram Abrahamyan, Sasha Galstyan, Gor Kirakosyan, Hovsep Kirakosyan, Aramayis Mikayelyan, Boris Ozmanyan, and Nikolay Hovsepyan.
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.