SYUNIK, Armenia—The Armenian Youth Federation’s ‘With Our Soldiers’ campaign continues reporting to our community on its efforts related to providing financial relief to the families of the fallen soldiers and volunteers of the Four Day War as well as featuring the stories of our heroes. Today’s press release is focused on 4 of the 13 soldiers and volunteers from Syunik, who lost their lives in April. The video report enclosed also shows the visits made to the families of volunteer Gagik Parsadanyan, and servicemen Armen Gasparyan, Norayr Gasparyan, and Narek Mkrtchyan:
Ten of the fallen soldiers from Syunik – members of the Sisakan Volunteer Unit – were killed near Martakert (Artsakh) as a result of a drone strike on April 4th, which destroyed the bus transporting them to the front lines. 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. Four of the fallen 13 fallen heroes had children, and a total of $14,250 was distributed to the families. As in the past, receipts were obtained from the family members who have received the financial assistance in order to ensure transparency and accountability to our supporters and the community.
Below you will find a brief biography of the first four fallen soldiers/volunteers from Syunik, with respective video reports and individual video clips/articles about them and their families. The remaining 9 individuals will be featured in future press releases.
Gasparyan, Armen (b. 1973), nicknamed Makich, was a veteran, who had joined the Artsakh Liberation Movement as a volunteer at the age of 15. In 1992, he was wounded during one of the military operations and transported to Kapan, where he was put in the care of the family of his future wife, Mary. By the time Armen Gasparyan was called to fulfill his mandatory military service (1993), he was already an experienced fighter. Armen was described as an honest, courageous, and determined man. At the start of the Four Day War, Armen Gasparyan went to the front lines as a volunteer, and was killed in action near the village of Talish on April 6th. His wife, Mary, who lost her father during the first Artsakh War, will now have to raise her two children, Artur (b. 1995) and Arine (b. 1995) by herself, thus repeating the fate of her own mother, Arshaluys Baghdasaryan. Armen Gasparyan’s family was given $1,500 by the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about Armen Gasparyan, visit:
Gasparyan, Norayr (b. 1996) was well-known and well-liked in his native Kapan: he was one of the dancers in the local dance troupe, and had gained popularity due to his talent, kindness, and warmth. Norayr’s family lived in Russia, but had returned to Syunik at the insistence of their son, so the latter could serve in the Army. He had about three months left to finish his mandatory military service: having joined the Army in 2014, Norayr was a member of a tank battalion. The young man was planning to move to Yerevan in order to continue his education and his dancing career in the capital. Norayr Gasparyan spoke to his younger brother, Misha, on April 2nd, telling the latter that he was going to the front lines. The same day, his family heard the news that Norayr’s tank was hit by a drone. Norayr Gasparyan death was confirmed on April 7th, and his funeral took placed in Kapan two days later. Norayr’s family was given $1,000 by the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about Norayr, visit:
Narek Mkrtchyan (b. 1996) from the Vorotan village of Syunik had 10 months left to complete his compulsory military service in the Armenian Armed Forces. He was one of family’s four children, which included three sons and one daughter. Described as daring and courageous, Narek was a sniper in one of the military units on the front lines of Artsakh. During the Azeri incursion in April, he refused to obey his commander’s order to leave and died while defending Armenian positions near Talish on April 5th. Narek’s family was given $1,000 by the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about Narek, visit this link.
Gagik Parsadanyan (b. 1960) was wounded twice during the first Artsakh War, but did not hesitate before leaving for the front lines in April, when the enemy attacked once again, despite the fact that he was sick and bedridden. Parsadayan had once fallen into the hands of the Azeris, but taking advantage of his command of their language, convinced the enemy that his name was Hassan and he was one of them. Gagik, thus, kept his life, and obtained a new nickname, Hassan, which was used by his friends for the rest of his life. Gagik Parsadanyan was married to his wife, Anahit, for 21 years, and they had four children (three adults): two sons, Kolya (b. 1992) and Andranik (b. 1994), and two daughters, Sona (b. 1986) and Gayane (b. 2004). Gagik’s family was given $1,250 by the With Our Soldiers campaign. To learn more about Gagik Parsadanyan, visit:
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.