Sunday, 23 September

"I want to look into the eyes of our frontline soldiers..."



After Hetq published an article and photo-story about soldiers on the Artsakh frontlines, I received a letter from a young woman.

She was fired from her job based on an administrative violation and visited the Hetq offices to explain what had happened. Here are two lines from her letter.

“I would like to look into the eyes of our frontline soldiers. I want to bring them candy or whatever else I can.”

The woman who wrote these lines has been out of work for several months and is in a tough situation. Her phone service has been disconnected.

The letter jolted me 20 years into the past.

It was February, 1992, and I was in a 17 man unit along with Monte. After liberating Veysalou on February 22, we struck out for the Gevorgavan wine factory to dig in. It was a difficult day since we hadn’t slept the previous night. One of the guys from Martouni had been killed. It was cold and our spirits were sagging. That same day Movses Hakobyan, now the Artsakh minister of Defense, had been wounded. The armoured car he was in struck a land mine in a vineyard close to Gevorgavan. Our forward advance had come to a halt.

It was freezing, forcing us to constantly move. In the silence, we awaited the enemy’s counter-attack. A cold wind from the plains periodically broke the stillness of the night. I then heard loud snoring. It was coming from Karen Ouloubabyan, a giant of a man from Martouni. His snoring was so loud I was afraid it would give our position away to the enemy.  (Karen was killed when we destroyed the enemy’s position in Ghourouchkh, on the heights opposite the town of Martouni).

Karen would sleep like a hibernating bear and it was hard to wake him. We all poked and prodded him from different angles to stop the snoring. He jumped up, weakly looked at us, and said “Don’t worry”. A few minutes later we heard the same snoring. We began a patrol around Karen. That whole night we moved around in the trench trembling from the cold. We slept in the snowdrifts of Veysalou in damp clothes and frozen feet. I remembered with fondness the socks my grandmother would knit for me; the ones with colored thread. My grandma would dye the threads herself.

A few days later I received a package from Yerevan containing some socks. My grandmother had knitted the socks and sent them. In one pair there was a letter addressed to the soldiers.

While I always think about writing those years, it just doesn’t happen. I can’t even read my notes of the day. I can’t say why.

All I know is that the two lines of this young woman, “I would like to look into the eyes of our frontline soldiers. I want to bring them candy or whatever else I can”, greatly resemble the letter in my grandma’s socks.

Photo: Sara Anjargolian


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Comments (16)
1. Մլեհ (Lebanon)12:58 - 25 July, 2012
Edik Baghdassaryan presents a rare quality of the Armenian Patriot - A Freedom Fighter who has courageously fought arms in hand for the Liberation of Artsakh and an Intellectual, a staunch and committed fighter for the cause of Justice and Freedom in Armenia. He reminds me of Martyred writer, journalist, parliamentarian and Soldier SAMVEL SHAHMOURADIAN, who as well, was committed to the Gharabagh Movement of Armenia, and heroically fell while defending Artsakh. God bless Samvel's memory and God bless you, dear Edik.
2. karen13:01 - 25 July, 2012
El ban chuneq grelu?
3. Արևիկ13:18 - 25 July, 2012
Դու դժվար հասկանաս թե ինչերի միջով են անցել էս տղաները
4. Visitor14:28 - 25 July, 2012
Wow Karen, you're an idiot....or a Turk
5. Գայանե15:13 - 25 July, 2012
Եթե իմ գրած նամակն է եղել գուլպայի մեջ դրած, ապա գրել էի այսպես. Թող որ ես լինեմ ստվերը ոտքիտ Չթողնեմ ոտքտ որ առնի քարին Թալիսման դառնամ դեն վանեմ չարին Փառքի ծաղիկներ սերմեմ քո Ճամփին: Ես միշտ աղոթում էի զինվորների համար... և ես հպարտ եմ , որ ունենք բանակ , իսկ թերությունները լուծվող խնդիրներ են ...
6. Մլեհ (Lebanon)16:05 - 25 July, 2012
2. karen, your mean indifference to the subject article betrays that you're, indeed, worse that a turk.
7. Sya Go16:47 - 25 July, 2012
Gri....anpaiman gri!
8. Ani18:47 - 25 July, 2012
Amen angam, erb Arcaxyan paterazi u hay zinvori masin inch-vor ban em kardum kam lsum, anbacatreli mi dox e ancnum marmnovs. Uzum em mer erkiry pahoxnerin, ayd tvum ev qez sireli Edik, amur-amur grkel u erkar lrel...Hima el e kokords sexmvum, aseliqs inch-vor chi stacvum....
9. mahmouzian20:30 - 25 July, 2012
Edick you are one of the best iknew it since our first interview .again thank you Mihran
10. karen17:28 - 26 July, 2012
Dzezanic wo4in4 4nerkayatsnogh kritikner, 4. u 6. anunnerd el em djvaranum artaberel! Duq nax sovoreq hayeren artahaytvel! Entadrabar duq aynqan huzakan u pxrun apushner eq, wor nuynis pitani 4eq haykakan banakum tsarayelu! 4i bacarvum angam, wor vaghuc lqel eq dzer hayreniq@, ev otar papuk barci vra eq gluxnerd dnum (kartsum em tsanot eq Zoravar Andraniki haytni xosqerin)! Duq erevi te Arcax@ tesnum eq miayn Herustamaratonnerum, u zarmanali 4e, wor duq an@ndunak eq haskanal hay zinvorin! ANASUNNER!
11. karen17:31 - 26 July, 2012
heriqa xgh4aharutyan arjanacneq HAYOC BANAK@!
12. Մլեհ (Lebanon)09:58 - 27 July, 2012
10. karen, Ինքզինքդ յարգէ՛, գոնէ սեփական անունդ մեծատառով գրել սորվիր, ա՛յ խղճուկ, ողորմելի՛ տգէտ` նոր կը խօսինք: Մե՜ղք անունիդ...
13. Ando01:00 - 28 July, 2012
Karen u know that hoe that many men laid in, u know that very hoe that many men have talked about, and lastely that very hoe that got digged in for money please go back into that hoe where u came from. What a waiste of life u are.
14. Վարազ Սյունի (Ամստերդամ)04:45 - 1 August, 2012
Հետքին- Չեմ հասկանում, թե ի՞նչու են տպվել karen(10,13)կոմենտները: Դուք ուշադիր կարդացել ե՞ք, թե ինչ բառեր կան այնտեղ:
15. karen11:22 - 1 August, 2012
14. in! Konkret im komentum hamar 10, woreve anshnorhq ev avelord ban grvats 4e! Varaz Syuni duq hayoc banakum tsarayel eq?
16. Մլեհ11:05 - 5 November, 2012
Նախարարի պարգևին արժանացած զինվորը մահամերձ է. նրան վաղաժամ զորացրել են և հորդորել ՊՆ-ի վրա հույս չդնել (ՏԵՍԱՆՅՈՒԹ) http://tert.am/am/news/2012/11/05/chenq-lrelu-zinvor/
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