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THE MOTHERLAND OF THE CHOSENMaybe I’m wrong to always look for patterns in events, and now I’m struggling to find the similarities between a screwdriver and an airplane. Because those who saw Major Rafael Vasilyan as a child, give him a big smile and say:

“The screwdriver was always in his hand, he was tearing and tearing. He excavated everything he could in great detail.”

I think we are all the same, we have been looking for something since childhood. Something very important. Diligently or lazily, fanatically or patiently, openly or unnoticed. That search can last a lifetime if fate is unfortunate and we do not meet our dream. … When the knife came to help the screwdriver, Raphael was taken to school. He was five years old at the time, but he was a very capable, intelligent child, he could go to school even at the age of five and, as his parents expected, cut himself with knives and screwdrivers. … If you loved school. This was already a condition because it was impossible for Rafael to impose anything even in his childhood. He always had his opinion and shortly after entering the class he went to his mother, who was a physics and astronomy teacher in the same school, he said, “I did not like school, I am going home.”

However, over the years, the screwdriver and the knife have given way to physics, history, geometry, and literature. He was absolutely excellent at school. He studied all subjects with the same dedication and in good faith. If you asked your friends about Rafael, first they would remember that he was the best student in the class, they would definitely confirm that he was a good friend, then they would point out the outstanding aspects of his character, they would say that Rafael was truthful, defender of justice, peace-loving … They would add that he recited Pushkin’s poems wonderfully. And the sisters … I do not want to say what words of love, compassion, longing, worship were said about Rafael on the lips of his two older sisters, Hasmik and Victoria. For them, their only brother was perfection. There was no one like him, he was a light, he was a treasure, he was a whole world … They mixed for hours with a smile and a tear, telling and telling, putting the greatest mysteries into the smallest detail …

The attentive reader, I know, is looking forward to when I will finally say why I was looking for a connection between the screwdriver and the plane, and when His Majesty Heaven appeared in Raphael’s life … I do not know. Nobody knows. Just one day, Raphael announced that he was going to become a military pilot. And he went to study at the Khanperyants Military Aviation Institute.

“Raphael was completely in love with his profession,” says his sister, Victoria.

THE MOTHERLAND OF THE CHOSENHe graduated with honors from the Military Institute. Victoria, who has a PhD in history and teaches at the university, witnessed and participated in her brother’s transformation. He did not understand what the correction of the mistakes of the past gives to the cadet of the military institute, why the brother is so diligently trying to understand where we missed, when we lost this or that part of our Homeland, or where we made a mistake in losing this or that battle. But he saw that a sudden pain was piercing his soul from within.

And the Homeland was the name of that pain. The sky was no longer an ordinary sky, it was the Homeland. Raphael’s homeland was rising.

… During his years of service, Rafael Vasilyan was thinking of something. The sister thinks so. Because he was constantly talking about drones and modern wars. Who knows, if it were not for the two peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, we might now have a local-made drone with an Armenian name, thanks to an engineer-aircraft engineer who graduated with honors from the school and the military university. But you can not argue with fate.

When the war broke out, Rafael had just gotten married and was in charge of the unit’s air defense service. Hours after hearing the news of the war, he left for the front line with his soldiers. He fought for 44 days and was killed on the last day of the war, hours before the signing of the peace agreement, by a drone strike. During the war, he shot down enemy drones, enemy drones that fired on the native sky and opened fire on his soldiers. It is difficult to say how many lives were saved. The last day of the war was no exception, and it is not surprising that the Turks located the Armenian officer. The strike was intended for Rafael Vasilyan and was accurate. The rocket exploded next to him. Days later, the military doctor was to comfort his relatives. I’m sure Rafael did not feel anything, he died right at the moment of the strike.

THE MOTHERLAND OF THE CHOSEN“He did not leave anything unfinished, nor did he leave the war unfinished,” says the sister. Victoria knows very little about those 44 days, because her brother did not say anything when he called from the battlefield. He did not say anything when he came home for a few days.

“Are the drones firing?” The sister tried to find out at least one thing.

“They are falling from the sky,” said Raphael, and said nothing more. In fact, there was no need to talk, because no matter how hard he tried, the pain was etched in his eyes, he did not look like he was a different person. Relatives later learned that he had lost friends on the battlefield, had seen the death of a classmate Tsolak, and had miraculously escaped death, which seemed inevitable. And the soldiers told how they were surrounded in Hadrut, and then, thanks to Major Rafael Vasilyan’s courage and military knowledge, they were able to get out of the trap.

“He took the whole platoon out of Hadrut unharmed,” says Victoria. “The soldiers came to our house.” When I looked at them and thought that these young men were alive thanks to my brother, my heart was filled with pride. When I thought they would continue to live, laugh, love, dream, my brother’s fame multiplied.

The head of the air defense service of the unit, Major Rafael Vasilyan, had no shortage of glory, he returned from the war accompanied by a guard of honor, with all military honors.

“Is he in Yerablur?” I ask Victoria. At first he nods, then says: “I involuntarily raise my head when I remember Raphael.” When I want to be closer to him, I look at the sky. There are our chosen ones, Heaven is the homeland of our chosen ones.



Category: #09 (1380) 10.03.2021 - 16.03.2021, Destinies, Spotlight