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I KEPT MY BROTHER'S NAME AND HONORIn one of the recent issues of the Hay Zinvor Magazine, an article by Hranush Sukiasyan was published about Hayk Khachatryan a junior sergeant who was fatally wounded by a mine explosion while preventing the enemy’s sabotage.

Recently, Hayk’s brother Ghukas returned home with honor. The young man, who proudly wears the Army Excellence and Brave Fighter badges, considers his years of service as one of the most important stages of his life.

“I am very pleased to have served in the army. I can’t imagine not having lived this period of my life. Even if the young man is legally released from service, let him go and serve.”

When Ghukas’s time to serve came, his parents tried to find out if he was eligible for not serving because his brother was killed. When Ghukas knew it, he was very upset. “How could you even think of such a thing? Don’t try to keep me at home. I will serve anyway. I have to take up arms, learn to shoot, to fight, take revenge for my brother.”

He really wanted to serve in Artsakh, in the military unit where his brother had served. But he was sent to another unit.

He did not tell anyone at his unit he was a brother of a killed in action soldier. Only the commander knew. And the comrades-in-arms only found out about Hayk during the last month of their service, reading an article in the Hay Zinvor magazine dedicated to Ghukas’s  brave brother. Ghukas had said with joy and pride, “Yes, Hayk was my brother.”  His friends posted the article on the walls of the unit for everyone to see and read. When the commander had asked Ghukas, “Why didn’t you tell anyone?” he had said, “I wanted to earn respect by my service, by my work, not by the name of my hero brother.”

Ghukas’s mother, Mrs. Sara, has three sons: Hayk, Ghukas and Hovhannes..

When she read the article about Hayk, the little one, ten-year-old Hovhannes, was offended. “Why there is nothing about me?”

… Hayk was 11 years old when his family, especially Sara, decided to adopt Hovhannes. The baby’s biological mother took him to an orphanage twice. Thus, the family was reunited with their third child, Hovhannes, whom Sara loves immensely. For Hovhannes, Sara is his mother and … that’s it.

“It was predetermined from above: Hayk was gone, Hovhannes become a consolation for me,” says Mrs. Sara. “It is a miracle, Hovhannes, he is so close to me. When I’m excited at times, he does not let me cry. When I got angry and looked at Hayk and Ghukasis, they both stood still. But I have spoiled Hovik. I always think that what I did not manage to do for Hayk, I will do for my other two boys. Hovik is very similar to Hayk now. I hugged him once and said accidently, ‘Dear Hayk!’ Then I felt my mistake, I immediately corrected myself, ‘Sorry, Hovik.” He hugged me and said, “No, dear mom, I’m glad you confused me with Hayk …”

When I found out about Hayk, Hovhannes was in my arms, he did not leave me. I thank God that he is with me.

Hayk was watching his brother from the army. Ghukas, the mother is worried, go home early in the evening.” He did not smoke or drink. Simple, clean, helping everyone, reaching everyone.

There were many strange coincidences in the days when Hayk was lost.

“Two days before the incident, it was the end of August, the seven green apricots and cherries in our yard started to dry. Hayk planted that garden with his father… On the morning of the incident, when we still did not know what had happened, our dog was crying silently like a human, in tears … We were wondering what happened to this dog.

… There is a lot in Ghukas from Hayk. They grew up like twins. The age difference is small. Ghikas is very sociable, direct, the joke is always on his lips. He is a very sweet boy. Hayk’s death immediately made Ghukas grow up … When I was going to the grave and my excitement was choking my throat, it was then that Ghukas Luke often would call as if he felt the pain of my soul. I answered him in a happy voice. But you will not deceive him. he asked, ‘Mom, where are you?’ ‘I’m with Hayk, sweetheart.’ ‘Aren’t you crying? Don’t cry!’

During the last months of Ghukas’s service, Hovhannes woke up every morning and counted the days. On the day of demobilization, he and his father went to the military unit to bring Ghukas home.

Gagik, Ghukas’s father, keeps looking at his son.

“Ghukas came home as a strong, mature and accomplished man. Thank you for everything. I am glad that my second son also served with honor … This is a great pride for his father.”

Gagik says his words of appreciation about the commander of the military unit, Lt Col Hovhannes Gabrielyan.

“He is an extraordinary person, who understands the soldiers, is caring and attentive like a parent. I have no words to express my gratitude.”

On the day of demobilization, the whole unit said goodbye to Ghukas with a song.

“It was a very exciting and happy day,” says Ghukas.

Due to the coronavirus limitations, he did not see his family for eight months.

“When I came home, for several days I still did not believe that my service was over. When we talk to my friends, everyone has the feeling that we will be back in a few days.”

“What did the service give you?” I ask Ghukas.

“The service changes a lot in a man’s life. I served and came. I am proud to have honored my brother’s name. I made many, many good friends. My friends have always been by my side during difficult times, happy times”.

“Do you remember the happiest day of your service?”

“After the alarm, we went to military exercises. When we reached the landscapes, we were divided into two. My friends and I were going to do our job in different places. We had not seen each other for three days. Finally, we all got together again. That was the happiest day. The service in the Army is the greatest achievement of my life.”

“It is also a great success to have a good commander. Lt Col Hovik Gabrielyan was our senior friend. We felt his devotion, his love for the whole army. He is a kind and very smart person. But he is strict in carrying out instructions and orders. He always said, “Now I have to be very strict with you to realize what service is, why you serve, how to serve, so that I can deliver you to your parents alive and well, dear boys.”

“You have already been demobilized, you handed over the shift to the recruits. What advice would you give them?”

“To serve safely, you must be very careful and disciplined. The superior will not just be strict. everything has its meaning. Negligence in the army is inadmissible.”

“Ghukas, are you friends ready to take up arms again if necessary?”

“Definitely. And whatever it is, I will find my commander, I will stand by him. I would like to go to war with him. He said the same, ‘Dear Luke, whatever happens, you will come, we will go to battle together.’ I will do just that, commander. I have the honor!”




Category: #34 (1354) 26.08.2020 - 1.09.2020, Destinies, Spotlight