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Father and son Babayans protect the borders of the homeland.


Samvel Babayan


THE FORMULA OF WINNINGEveryone sets the standards of victory and defeat differently before choosing his path. Suddenly you see that you have come to the crossroads and you have to choose. When the Artsakh movement started, I was a 14-15 year old boy. Powerful men immediately separated … from the rest. The loud words did not make sense any more, you had to prove your strength, patriotism, dignity with your deeds. You could sit at home and be with your loved ones. You could not go to the front and not die. It remained to be understood which of the two was the defeat, which was the victory. Everyone had their own answer to this question. Me too. When I was a 14-year-old boy climbing mountains with a homemade weapon, I already had my definition of victory and defeat. My father and grandfather helped me find the answer. They have given two powerful virtues to me: honor and kindness. My father was a tractor driver. For him, honor was above everything, he would give everything for honor. That was his victory. And my grandfather used to say, give bread to people, give and forget…. Over the years, I realized that your soul should have support, my support was my father’s honor and my grandfather’s kindness.

I am one of the first soldiers of the national army. I did not go to the army, but to war. I had two options before me: to leave the country or to avoid the army by any other means, or to join the army voluntarily, taking on inhuman difficulties. I do not mean the famine, the cold, the sting of the lice, but the cruel battles I went through during my service.

… Then again there was a dilemma. Survive and return to your family at all costs, or fight selflessly and defend your land from the enemy. I chose the latter because my father’s honor and grandfather’s kindness prompted me to do so. … My friends were dying on my hands and winning …

When the tank hit, I felt that something was terribly heavy on me, and then I do not remember anything. The guys tell me that I was left under a thick layer of soil. When they started collecting the bodies of the victims, they saw that I was not there. Throwing the ground left and right, they looked for my corpse and when they took my body out from under the ground, they noticed with surprise that I was breathing. I did not wake up in the hospital for a week. I had just opened my eyes, and suddenly my commander entered the palace. He looked at me and smiled.

“Meghri, are you alive?”

Since I was from Meghri, everyone called me Meghri.

“I’m alive, Commander,” I said. Then my commander told me how I had been bled to death. After some time in the hospital, I returned to the front. I have not seen anything. For the second time I received a shrapnel wound, a concussion. Did I win or did I lose? Of course, I won. Someone may say that the victors were those who during the war were privatizing the homeland defended at the cost of my friends’ blood and today live in castles. For me, they lost. The Victory of my country must be sought in Yerablur.

I’m still on the front line. And Victory is at a height of 300 meters in my position. Blue sky above my head, clouds under my feet, the enemy in front of me, my people behind me. And I feel like a monument of victory on that height.

My army bears no resemblance to today’s army. I am still in the army, I am still a border guard, but this is my son David’s army. At the moment, I am in the same position as my son. I in Meghri, David in Artsakh. But this is David’s army, mine remained on the battlefield, where I lost my friends … … After the war I fell in love with a girl. Karine gave me a family and two sons, David and Edik.

I had been demobilized from the army for several years when the April war started. My mother, my wife and my two sons were crying out loud, hanging from my arms and repeating, do not go, you will die, do not go. I had nothing to say to my wife and mother, I answered my sons: “The young soldiers on the front line are defending our homeland – you, your grandmother, your mother. I have a family, I have children. For better or worse, I have lived my life. Those soldiers are very young and should not be killed.”

My sons stopped crying. There were tears on their cheeks, but something new had appeared in their eyes. I do not know how educated, educated people raise their children, but I am sure that during those few minutes I gave my sons more than years of preaching and discipline.

On April 2, I left for Artsakh with several volunteers. I saw 19-20-year-old soldiers fighting for the homeland. I was exactly their age when I was defending Artsakh with my friends. I find it difficult to describe in words how I feel. I saw soldiers who could be my sons due to their age. I saw how they fought selflessly for the land where the blood of my friends was shed. And I told my friends for the first time, “Rest in peace, guys, let your brave souls be at peace. We have finally won.”

I will stay in the positions until my son returns from military service. He wants to become a contract soldier like me. I will hand over my position to my son and go down to the border. I will give my son the bright dawns of the hill and the colorful sunsets. And most importantly, I will give my son to my comrades-in-arms as the most precious gift.


David Babayan


THE FORMULA OF WINNINGMy father always told me about his mission. When I was growing up and I heard from the boys who had served what life was like in the military unit, when I said service I imagined my father’s army, cold, longing for a piece of bread, full of dangers. My father was telling and adding, “Difficulties are for men, should women go to the border?”

When I was already in the military unit, I realized that thanks to my father and his friends, our current army is strong and the borders are strong. This is a completely different army and has nothing to do with what my father told me. When our army was just being formed, the developed countries had prosperous, safe, armies armed with modern weapons. But we went ahead with running, flying, equaling the walk of the world.

My father always told me, “Find your formula of winning and win”.

I rose to the position for the first time on December 27. The Azerbaijanis were constantly firing on ordinary days, and they firing on New Year’s Eve. The guys were saying, “Azeris invent something every year to celebrate our New Year.”

I stood on the post with my ears pricked up, I said to myself, win, overcome fear, defeat yourself, defeat the enemy. And the Azeris were shooting at my position at that time. It was my first military baptism.

Now I am the chief of the position, already two shifts. I can not describe in words what it means to be responsible for a position. The position must remain invincible. Give what you want instead: your health, your dreams, your life. There is no greater pride when you and your father stand in the post together, defending the borders of the homeland.

The army has changed me a lot. The army taught me to make decisions and be accountable for those decisions. In the army, you are faced with a choice every second, big or small, strong or weak. Your choice shapes your image, your reputation, your identity. There are no words in the army, there is work. I have a belief in my life. I’m proud of my father, and my children should be proud of me.


Category: #38 (1358) 23.09.2020 - 29.09.2020, National army, News, Spotlight