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NEW SHIFT: STRONG IN SPIRIT AND WILLIt is the first conscription after the war. It is interesting and crucial how the boys are in the mood, with what thoughts, messages and mood the relatives send them to the army. From the very first moments of contact with my parents and conscripts, I was convinced once again that we are a real “nation-army” with a strong spirit and will. I would witness a real military shift again, when the elders, parents and relatives, are also fighters, directly involved in the war, fathers, brothers, loving and caring, strong mothers like fighters.


I approach one of the conscript relatives’ groups. Newly recruited Samvel Hovsepyan’s mother Naira Ghazaryan says it is a great pride to send her son to the army. But, of course, every parent has a great desire for peace. Speaking about the upcoming draw, she says without hesitation.

– Whichever border of our Homeland needs to be protected, he must go there. If he needs to keep the borders of Artsakh again, he will go there. An intellectual, kind, gentle-looking husband, Mikael, was at the forefront during the last war.

– He left on September 28 and returned on November 27. The most difficult, of course, was the terrible, “squeezing” uncertainty. We had no news of him. But, thank God, he came back safe and sound. Of course, we dreamed of our victory a lot… But we will not stop saying, “We will win!” Under no circumstances should you surrender. It is a great pride for my son that his father defended our homeland. He also wanted to go, but they would not let him. Now it is his turn …

The strongest advice and demand that Samvel’s father, his father, who had recently gone through many trials, was to master the military as soon as possible, to be disciplined and attentive.

NEW SHIFT: STRONG IN SPIRIT AND WILL“I went a little unprepared myself,” he says frankly. “I served a long time ago.” Now, more than ever, I realize the importance of being trained and mastering new weapons. We were on the front line for 60 days.

Mikael remembers the first day of his arrival on the battlefield, when the column was trying to approach the designated positions with great caution at night, in complete darkness.

– We almost reached our positions when the enemy noticed us. The bombing started… It was our first shock. Unaccustomed to combat situations, you suddenly find yourself right in the middle of it. It’s one thing to watch TV, it’s quite another to feel it on your skin. It is a torrent of explosive mines, and you have to decide what to do. It was very good that there were boys among us who served, who immediately orientated themselves and started instructing us on how to behave and what to do. “One to the right, one to the left, keep a distance of eight meters from each other, hide behind the mounds,” etc. It saved us. The bombers did not reach their goal, they stopped firing. So we got to a place in the dark, we positioned ourselves. Many trials would come later. I was in touch, we were laying linear wires, charging and delivering radios. The rest of the time I was an ordinary shooter. There have been many situations where we had to make many casualties, but God has saved us. How many times did the balls pass right next to me?

I told my son. “Always remember that many people are waiting for you, as they were waiting for me.” When I returned, I had no idea that there was so much waiting for me.

– How? “We were waiting for you all over the nation,” I say. The person who approached us at that moment warmly greeted Mikael. One of his comrades-in-arms is Karen Avetikyan, who is saying goodbye to his newly recruited cousin Erik today.

– Mikael and I got acquainted during the combat duty. “We both went as liaisons, but if necessary we were shooters,” says Karen. “I always remember Mikael’s words.” “I did not believe in my strength, I could not imagine that I would endure so much. We must stay until the end, until the victorious end of the war. “He remained in position for another twenty days after the war.

NEW SHIFT: STRONG IN SPIRIT AND WILLNo one can say how he will behave in difficult situations. At first it was shocking, and then we got used to everything. Absolute absence of fear… Explosions, incessant fire become commonplace. The guys were very strong and fighting. There is no word about soldiers. They were incredibly brave. They did not shy away from the problem of war, they always wanted to move forward. I am surprised and delighted with our new generation. They are very strong, very much! You see, our recruits are leaving in a very high mood.

Soon  Samvel is approaching us.

– I am proud that my father took part in the defense of our country. Now I want to go and pay my debt to my homeland. “Well, I’m not so good at giving interviews,” smiles the young man.

I was about to meet Karen’s cousin, Erik.

“What was this war like for your generation?” I asked the young man. What did this experience give you? How are you doing now?

– It was a feeling that our fathers, our brothers served there and we served here. My best friend… Spartak Margaryan died. I have many friends, but he was the closest. He had a very pure heart. I only kept my secrets, and he kept me. He was taken on the last day of conscription, before that he was restless. “Haven’t they forgotten me? Let me go and see.” He had gone to the military commissariat the day before. One of their commanders, a lieutenant colonel, said that Spartaks was a brilliant shooter. Our hero… I would not want any generation after us to see everything we saw. The case of Spartak makes me always remember that heroic boys like him look down on us and we must do our best to keep our heads high to walk, to be worthy of their vivid memory.

I wish Erik good service and at that very moment I meet a large group of boys… Friends came to see off newcomer Armen Abrahamyan. His father, Karen Abrahamyan, says.

– This is still a small part of my son’s friends, he is able to unite honest, kind people around him.

My question to Armen, “How are you in the service?” Is answered by the whole large group, “Ready for comat.”

In another group of relatives, the grandmother hugged her two grandchildren and muttered a prayer with her eyes closed. Mrs. Aida has a son who participated in the First Artsakh War. Now she has come to bless the newly recruited grandchildren with prayer and her love and see them off to the army. The boys, Gor Ohanyan and Levon, are twin brothers. The mother, Eliza Shahinyan, is smiling.

– Many of our relatives often do not distinguish them. They name both and wait for one to respond.

Mrs. Eliza, like all mothers who send their sons to the army today, is excited but determined.

– Ours is not like the countries where there has been no war for years, decades, maybe hundreds of years. We always know that our boys go to work to protect and, if necessary, fight to defend the homeland. We all realize the need for an army. Many of our soldiers kept the peace of our country at the cost of their lives in this war. We bow to their memory.”

Gor, one of the twin brothers, joins the conversation.

– My friend was wounded in the first days of the war. You look at him, you think, a young boy, a servant for two months, and you are proud that in a state of war the spirits have stood still and fought. My other friend fought for 40 days. He was a sniper, he fought very well. He was discharged, thank God, safe and sound. During the war, we also applied to the military commissariat and asked to be sent to the front line. They refused: “You are not old yet. You will go to your conscription, you will serve.” Now we are leaving for the service with confidence. We are ready to do everything for our homeland.

The other brother, Levon, adds:

– For me, the homeland is our people who give flesh and blood to our country. My brother and I, in addition to the military service, with our knowledge we intend to be useful to the homeland. We are IT specialists. I think we will be useful in this area.

Samvel Ohanyan, their father, looks at his sons with pride.

– My boys seem to be more mature in one day. Today I see the stamp of responsibility on their foreheads and faces:, I think that in two years this feeling will be even stronger, they will return from the army as fully formed, healthy, strong men. My attitude to the army has always been unequivocally positive. My sons grew up in an officer family. I am a police officer, my father was also an internal affairs officer, my grandfather is one of the founders of the army air defense department. From the day my sons were born, they have seen uniforms at home, growing up in an atmosphere of discipline. I am sure that they will return to their homeland without any trouble, having fulfilled their duty to the homeland. I am proud to be sending my sons to the army today. God bless all our boys. Naturally, I cannot be uneasy on this day. There are concerns besides pride. The impact of what has happened in recent months is still fresh, but I am confident that this bright new generation of ours will overcome all difficulties very quickly, we will have an even stronger and stronger army.




Category: #06 (1377) 17.02.2021 - 23.02.2021, Army and Society, News, Spotlight