Society 15:10 28/01/2021 Armenia

Fallen hero Artyom Yeghoyan: 'I am 23 years old, but I already have 21 sons'

Author Nare Gevorgyan

Modest, taciturn, thoughtful and kind ... Artyom Yeghoyan, a hero Armenian soldier who fell defending Artsakh in the recent war, was described like that by his friends and relatives.

"He loved the military service more than anything else. His uniform, job, soldiers and military service played a primary role in his life,” the soldier’s mother, Mrs. Naira, told Panorama.am in an interview.

The mother says his son made up his mind to become a military man when he was a 10th-grade school student, and from that age Artyom started to build his path, quitting sports and resounding the success he could achieve in that field.

"He was engaged in boxing and took part in various competitions ... He came in first and took home medals. But, for some reason, one day he was disappointed. And already in the 10th grade he said that he was going to be admitted to a military academy. His father disapproved his decision, but I said, if he wants, let him go so that in the future we would not to be for his failure to achieve his dream. He studied at the Tigran Mets Military and Sports College for three years, continuing his studies at the Vazgen Sargsyan Military University afterwards. His performance was excellent and in the end he decided to become an intelligence officer,” the mother said swallowing her tears. She added that after graduating from university, her son immediately asked the authorities to be allowed to continue his service on the Artsakh frontline.

Mrs. Naira also took pride in the fact that before the outbreak of the war, the command had decided to award her son with the rank of captain ahead of time after two years of service.

"He loved his profession so much ... he really wanted to be promoted. Even when he was on vacation, he counted the days and minutes when he had to go back. From the very first day, he was packing up his things, saying he could go back at night or tomorrow," the mother said.

With the same impatience to return to the military unit known as Yeghnikner, Senior Lieutenant Yeghoyan last closed the door of his house on September 5.

The officer would rarely speak about his future plans, but he always told his family members that after ten years of service he would continue his studies at the Investigative Committee of Armenia to become a military investigator.

"He was not a talkative person. He did not speak a word about his work, but he spoke with admiration about his soldiers. He loved his soldiers very much and would tell us with a huge smile on his face, “Look, I am 23 years old, but I already have 21 sons” ... "It’s my son calling,” he said when one of his soldiers called him while he was at home,” Mrs. Naira said.

During the war, Artyom Yeghoyan spoke with his family members only once. He called them on September 26 to congratulate his father on his birthday, but did not call on the next day when the war started.

"On September 27, we waited all day long, we were anxious and kept calling him, but his phone number was unavailable. On the night of 28-29, at 3am, he called his father and said that he was going somewhere with the commander, promising to call gain after coming back. It was his last call,” the mother said, with her voice choking with tears.

The 23-year-old officer was killed on September 29. The family was told about their son's death on October 3.

"We could not possibly imagine that Artyom could be hit by a bullet. He was nicknamed lynx for being agile and flexible ... But suddenly he stopped calling us. His brother was already very worried. We hand an old phone at home, where the numbers of Artyom's friends were saved. He found it, switched on and started calling different people to find out where his brother was and why he was not calling. Some did not answer, others said he had been injured, while another man immediately said that he had been killed. It was already October 3,” he woman said with pain in her heart.

Immediately after receiving the news of Artyom Yeghoyan's death, his relatives started looking for him in all hospitals and morgues in Armenia. On October 7, the officer’s body was found in the town of Goris.

"After learning that Artyom had been hit, his close friend Tigran Mikoyan rushed out of the military post to help him and was hit by the same sniper fire when trying to save him. They fell side by side," Mrs. Naira said.

Artyom Yeghoyan’s fellow soldiers admit that they probably would not be alive now if it were not for him.

"On September 29, at around 3pm, the enemy opened artillery fire on our positions. Artyom Yeghoyan and I were in a trench. For a moment there was a silence, Yeghoyan said calmly that they were coming ... Seeing that the enemy was approaching us and several saboteurs had already entered our trench, Yeghoyan immediately opened fire from a PK machine gun, gave instructions to the staff and decided to go down alone, being killed by the enemy’s sniper fire,” his fellow soldier, Sergeant Hmayak Ustyan said, without providing further details of the painful events.

One of Artyom Yeghoyan's comrades-in-arms, Mikayel Muradyan, told Panorama.am that Yeghoyan always reached out to them.

"During the events of Shamshadin back on July 14, we were in the same position when an alarm was sounded. And even during that pre-war time he was very calm, preventing tensions. He even prepared the conscripts to be ready for any development. He encouraged us, all of us were ready to defend our positions at the cost of our blood," he said, adding Yeghoyan was hiding everything behind a smile.

According to the fellow soldier, Senior Lieutenant Yeghoyan always had their back; he even helped them to quickly put the barracks in order. But, the most impressive thing for him was when during a 10 km run he could not continue running and Artyom Yeghoyan took him by the hand and pulled him so that the soldier could reach the endpoint.

"I remember that inspectors were to visit our battalion and our barracks were in a mess Yeghoyan and another soldier put everything in order in 20 minutes so that everyone was satisfied," he recalled with a smile.

Mikayel Muradyan said that he used to write “This too shall pass” phrase on the walls of the battalion observation post, but Yeghoyan would erase the notes as soon as he saw them.

"One day he told me, “Miko, nothing ever passes” ... Now I understand what he meant. He is with us. I have finished my military service, but I have not returned from the service. His presence in my soul and mind does not allow me to return from the service,” Artyom Yeghoyan’s fellow soldier said.

Artyom Arshak Yeghoyan was born in the town of Martuni of Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province on October 23, 1997. For the bravery shown during the war, he was posthumously awarded with the First Degree Combat Cross Order, which has not yet been handed over to his family. Legendary commander of Yeghnikner unit Karen Javalyan (Kyokh) had decided to personally hand it over to Artyom Yeghoyan’s parents.



Source Panorama.am
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