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The Unimportant Tribe

A story of Armenian American Servicemen                                                                                                                                                                               

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race,
this small tribe of unimportant people, whose history is ended,
whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled,
whose literature is unread, whose music is unheard, whose prayers are no longer uttered.
Go ahead, destroy this race. Let us say that it is again 1915. There is war in the world.
Destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them from their homes into the desert.
Let them have neither bread nor water. Burn their houses and their churches.
See if they will not live again. See if they will not laugh again.”
William Saroyan

The sublime nature of Saroyan’s words echo today in our modern ears, with the same precision and uninterrupted intention they were first written. Most Armenians have all read these words and more often than not use the quote as a self-validation of their existence despite the magnanimous odds. As an American of Armenian descent, I find myself often wondering what Americans think of Saroyan’s words. Mostly the following thoughts come to mind: “Gee Will, you sure nailed it, now where’s my remote?” We are that very tribe of unimportant people that Saroyan, a native son of the United States, wrote about. Decades of endless battles fighting Mongols, Tatars, Persians, Turks, Communists, and body hair have carved a molecular association with war, creating a structural deformity in our DNA, such that we carry a fondness for upholding the laws of the countries where we are exiled, to the extent that their constitutions allow, including fighting in wars that are not ours to fight, yet we fight. An old Armenian adage rings true even today: On the forehead of every Armenian, the word “Work” is inscribed. For some the toil of work comes in the form of military service.

SFC Tovmassian (left) and PFC Zarechian-Soudoni (right). You will note they had to take the photo themselves.

I find the term “military service” to be quite apropos in describing what our soldiers do every day. They don’t just clock-in to work; they provide service to a nation. Oddly, the only other comparable example is worlds away, where Armenian monks serve God and also provide a service to entire peoples. These two sorts are really in the same business. Both ends serve to protect the people from outside dangers with a slight but important difference, in that, soldiers fight for what is tangible and the monks for what is not. Life, for everyone else not on the physical or spiritual battlefield carries its own perception of reality, and the fact that we go about our business every day unaffected implies that the soldiers and the monks are doing their jobs. Both sides quietly understand how the comfortable lives of the people are the causality of their actions. Although the secular sort would argue that our unaffectedness leads us to living on auto-pilot, calling us to mindfulness and prayer, whereas the soldiers are content knowing we are in an Occidental coma.

Sergeant First Class (SFC) Robert Thompson from Imperial Beach, Calif., and Private First Class (PFC) Zarechian-Soudoni from Greenfield, Calif., happened to bump into each other in the very unknown but rather important town of Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, a couple of months ago. I suppose those of us who speak Armenian have at one point or another raised our ethnic eyebrows to our relatives or friends to indicate the proximal closeness of another group of Armenians, offering up the ancient knowing that every Armenian possesses: the ability to identify another Armenian from across a crowded room and then to immediately silence their own group so the others don’t realize they’ve been a target of the last hour’s gossip. That very eyebrow arch has for 2,000 years greeted and warded off our own sort. But, you see, SFC Thompson is what the Armenian community refers to as an “ABC: Armenian by Choice.” Indeed, his eyebrows are bushy enough to compete with an archaic arch of an Armenian’s, but what do we make of this meeting? Especially since, SFC Thompson’s wife is authoring this very article and has just received simple but direct instructions to “mail baklava and locum.”

This unimportant tribe has through its own veins discovered and rediscovered purpose and cultural validation on foreign soil, partly due to a forced exile by the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide (1915-21), and partly due to a curious and adventurous spirit that often results in meetings where baklava is requested from places like Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan. This resilient spirit is what I attribute to other ABCs whose Armenophilic tendencies often put to shame native Armenians’ or diasporan Armenians’ knowledge of history, music, food, and all things Armenian. And why should this matter? I spoke to a few retired Armenian Americans who served in the U.S. military and fought in previous wars to search for some answers.

***

Souren Mourachian, from Cranston, R.I., was drafted into the service in 1943 at 19 years old. He was a PFC in the 104th infantry division U.S. Army. In our brief chat, he explained to me that after four months of training he was shipped off to France, then Belgium and Holland, and finally wounded up in Germany, in 1945, where he was hospitalized until discharged. He told me this informational bit as a parenthesis to the following: “My parents are from Sepastia, Armenia [now Turkey]. My father came to America in 1910 alone. My mother lost three children during the genocide in the village of Govdoon where they [the Armenians] were marched into the Syrian Desert to their deaths. They [my parents] met up in 1920 and had three more children. I feel honored to have served in a war [World War II] that was a mess of the whole world at the time. We did our part and I was glad to do our part. I benefited by serving because under those conditions I was able to go to college and have a fairly decent job. [Being] Armenian is just my background; my parents came for freedom and opportunity. This is that country. I am happy that I could have done something for my country. God blessed me a long time ago.”

Col. James Vartanian served with the U.S. National Guard. For any of you Armenophiles, he is directly related to fighting legend and fedayi Sepastati Mourad. (Apparently, his grandmother was Mourad’s niece.) That’s the American equivalent of being General Patton’s great-grandson.

Staff Sergeant Everett Marabian, 79, served at the U.S. Army Headquarters in South Korea. His family hails from the ancient Armenian rebel city of Moush, which served as one of the biggest uprisings against the Ottoman Turks, who had killed his grandfather, a priest in the village of Palo. When I asked Marabian what he recalls from his experiences in the Korean War, he said the following: “I was never caught and I was never a prisoner. I’ve seen many of the dead bodies come back home. They were transferring the bodies at the end of the war, 55,000 American soldiers were killed.” He quickly added: “That’s 48 Americans killed every day over a period of 3 years and 1 month.” When I explained to him that I was writing up a piece to honor two Armenian Americans that had found each other in Afghanistan, he added the following: “Put this down, I served for 15 months, the maximum deployment was 16 months. These boys today are being sent back over and over.”

He also told me that he had met two officers who were Armenians serving in the Turkish army, and explained that the Turkish soldiers were very defensive at the realization that three Armenian soldiers (2 Lieutenants and 1 Staff Sergeant) were chewing the fat together at the United Nations Military Forward Command Post in Yong San, South Korea. However, he also said, “We are all there for the same cause and the Turks fought very well. There weren’t many of us but with Armenians being a minority like the Irish, one of the proudest things I ever did was go there [South Korea]. I will never forget what my mother said to me before I left. I was her only son: My son if we never see you again we know you will be in Heaven, but you must go there to stop those communists!”

Back to SFC Robert Thompson, who has since changed his name to Tovmassian, serving as the senior medic to the medevac crew from Charlie Company, 1/52 Aviation out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska. (Side note: The hardest part of writing an article where one includes one’s family is that one runs the risk of people accusing the author of self-promotion. After asking my husband for a few words regarding his “Armenian” experience in Afghanistan, his mindset leaves me no room to cringe from other’s perceptions.) SFC Tovmassian does not hesitate when he offers up his thoughts: “Embrace your country, serve it well, and always remember your family and your honor. Your word is your bond, and through service you secure peace and freedom for all.”

And on meeting his 27-year-old colleague, PFC Benjamin Zarechian-Soudoni, an Armenian American from Iran, who is also a medic: “We both serve with selfless dedication to the care of the sick and wounded. Medics are a special type of soldier, we care and fight to guard and save our wounded. We learned of our connection through our culture and service to others and through the army, which has afforded us both a better life.”

This tribe of unimportant people, with roots tracing back to their origins as the first nation-state to adopt Christianity as an official religion in 301 A.D.; this small group, which has always maintained stewardship of the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem; this insignificant people, who have fought terrorism before it became fashionable, continue to add value and maintain the integrity of anywhere they are placed. These immaterial people who have centuries of experience in battle and recognize King Leonidas from the movie “300” as their very own Commander Vartan Mamigonian (who lost the battle against the Persians, with 66,000 Armenian forces vs. 300,000 Persian forces, but won the war on remaining a Christian nation) developed a battle cry that transcends momentary glory. Armenians live by their ingrained ability to leave a place better than they found it. Service is at the very heart of every Armenian battle cry.

40 Comments on The Unimportant Tribe

  1. avatar annie demirjian // September 5, 2011 at 10:32 am // Reply

    what a great story and so true. Writing from Yerevan. Just arrived for a conference. At Vienna airport met Silicon valley IT guru Tony – California Armenian, who has been working in Armenia laast 20 years.
    I am with UNDP and we decided to co-operate instantly. Armenians can create mirracles!!!! when we work together.
    annie

  2. I loved The Unimportant Tribe. As regards “curious and adventurous spirit that often results in meetings where baklava is requested from places like Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan,” every New Year I received a neatly packaged box of baklava which reflected endurances of mishandling during its travel from Cairo, Egypt, to Leopoldville, Congo. No matter how disheveled the box was on arrival, its contents were symbolic of deep caring from a bosom friend I could never forget. It made me feel that I still belonged to the human race, out in the real and human jungle, and that I had not become a reject of the Armenian womb because of the political circumstances that had caused the voluntary exile. 

  3. avatar Krikor Sarkissian // September 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm // Reply

    Great article.Specially for me ;since i am positively prejudiced toward military service!!!

  4. avatar Vanessa Kachadurian // September 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm // Reply

    Karine writes from the heart of the Armenian, thank you so much in describing our inner need to work and leave this world a better place.  As group, Armenians have some of the larger charity orgranizations to serve our adopted homeland and our motherland.  In time of need as the natural disasters in Haiti, Japan, etc., Armenians have been right there donating and volunteering.
    A note about Afghani food, it is close to Iranian food (they also speak a dialect of Farsi)  Their lavash bread has leeks baked inside of it (yummy) and they call their yogurt Maz (very close to Madzoon)  They have some huge settlement areas in Northern California: Fremont and Tracy where their diaspora is thriving in our American Communities. 
    I know of 6 physicians that are Afghanis (4 of them women 2 are sisters)  In fact, Karine my know Dr. Zaheen’s husband who works at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, in Monterey, Calif and at the military language institute there.
    Good luck on your move to Alaska and please keep up your writing it is beautiful.

  5. Anyone who thinks Armenians are not patriotic Americans because they want their country to recognize the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians should read this articile. I am so proud of my father and his brothers who enlisted in the U.S. Navy and Army in WWII. My father was a 31-year-old man and had a job that made him exempt from service but he enlisted nonetheless and rose to the rank of company commander in the Navy.

    I was recently in Yerevan and toured the Armenian Military Museum under the statue of Mother Armenia. There were three Armenian field marshalls in the Soviet Army and an admiral in the Soviet Navy. There is a great photo of Armenian troops dancing in the foreground as the Nazi Reichstag burns behind them.

    Anywhere Armenians have been forced to migrate, they have made good citizens and made their adopted countries a better place.     

  6. avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm // Reply

    Dear    all,
    Of  course  we  are a dependable  ally,while being good Armenians as well. Witness  not only  what  my dear forum members  above  have mentioned ,but a few  others  such as >/
    Missak Manuchyan   the French Armenian poet  partisan  that with his group famed  as  LAfiche Rouge  fought  in the French resistance and became a hero..gunned  down by the Nazis  later with  his group  at  Mont Valerian.Where I was upon  the 40th anniversary  of said anniversay. We  wer so much honoured by the French Military as to serve  us dinner at  their highest  Military academ , Saitn Cyr.Those serving upon  us were all French pofficers with while gloves…etc., more  about  that in a different post.
    Then again I am in Lausanne with my First Wrodl Armenian Congress-second Congress  Conf. wherein we gathered  in same Hotel  Beau Rivage   Huge Hall where  in 1923  the infamous  Lausanne Treaty was signed…indeed we declared  it annuled, since  in thoses days  after Genocide we did  not have enough clout to demand Justice. Even Boghos Nubar and Avetis Aharonian  therfe, were not ALLOWED TO ENTER said Conference,stayed behind  doors..anyhow.\
    Now  then  at our Conferenc e exactly to the day after 60  years..I come across  this VALIENT  ARMENIAN  BRITISHER…Guess  what  ,after he gives  m e  his card with a plane featured  on it and his name  AGA  Zarian,   R.A.F. -Royal Air  Force, I ask  him  if  he the one  who wrote  “The last enemy””  says  no it  was my brother who wrote  that, I am a Squadron Leader…. THIS  IN THE ROYAL AIR  FORCE< CAN  YOU IMAGINE,,,but my brother  he goes  on  was a    W    I      N     G   COMMANDER.You know  what  that  means …even a higher, the highest  in the RAF…..This man with English wife  had driven  in their open top beautiful car all the way from Cote DAzur  to attend  ,be present at our 3 day Conference at Lausanne…His Armenian  blood  must  have guided  him to.
    I shall tell of  other  such  later some  day….
    Hama Haigaagani Siro.
    Oh by the by i still have  visit card and also published  it  in book entitled  , “Articles, viewpoints  and memoirs  of  Free lance  Patriot” half  of book is in English half  armenian
    Gaytzag  Palandjian
    These  two Bros.short  mlode  in Engladn english for Brothers, were very originally from Nor Jugha Djulfa, later attended  College  in Calcutta, immigrated  to U.K  etc., etc., etc., the Southern  isfahan  and New Julfa Armens  are  anglo  philes  and most  speak  English  Indian English…frpom India  that  is…. 

  7. avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm // Reply

    Fast  FWD  Follow  up.
    5000  Armenians  fought alongside British  General Allenby  in Palestine in 1918-20 ,as good a;llioes  and latter described   them as very valiant  soldiers…
    In  soviet Army  …that  is  in  1940””s  someone above  has already commented  on that. 

  8. I am enjoying reading your feedback and comments.

  9. To Karine,

    Never mind what the Americans think of saroyans’ words, but  when you tell ’em ,” I’m Armenian.” Their response?” What’s That?” You get my drift, Karine?

  10. Dear Jay, 
    Are your implied options then to disappear into a corner or belt out the Armenian National Anthem? None of those extremes ever get the point across, on the contrary. I don’t think the burden of ignorance is any nation’s people to bear. All one can do is educate and I find the best way to do that is through one’s actions.  

  11. really Jay-oglu ?

    Discounting the  educated class who know quite well who Armenians are, the not-so-highly educated masses  follow Kim Kardashian’s twitts by the Millions. And Kim has made no secret of the fact she’s Armenian and admires her late Father for instilling in her the love and appreciation for her Armenian heritage. In fact Kim asked her followers to raise  awareness of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turks amongst their friends.

    So notwithstanding your hateful comment, Americans know quite well who Armenians are.

    And do you know what Americans say when one mentions ‘Turk’ ? They say “Those people that murdered 2 million Armenian Christians, including children and babies ? How barbaric ? The same Turks that are threatening the existence of Jews in Israel now – those people ? That crazy Islamist Erdogan’s people ?” 

     
    People associate the word ‘Turk’ with Genocide, extermination of Christians, destruction, invasion, Muslim takeover of Europe, aggressive behaviour to its neighbors…..not a single positive trait, Jay Effendi. 

  12. To Karine,
    Very good article, indeed, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and re-reading it. I hope you will become a regular contributor to the ever improving Armenian Weekly.
    My maternal grandparents were also from Dikranagerd.
    Best of luck to you and SFC Tovmassian.

  13. Avery,

    Just chill out and take a chill pill dude. My ‘Non hateful’ comment comes from my own experience on the road. Having traveled all fifty states of the United States and nine Canadian provinces for over 17 years ,I can write a book or two about North American arrogant biggots who have no clue who the Armenians are. This is not the forum to discuss my experience. Yes, Kardashian  may have touched millions of youngins ,but the reality is there’s the other 98 percent who have no clue about the Armenians. Sad but true.

  14. No, you chill out Jay, dude. 

    If you could write a book, then write it: don’t deprive the world of your literary genius.
    And your personal experience means nothing. Did you happen to ask the same people who Turks are ? how about Cajuns ? Navajo ? get my drift ?  About 25% of Americans still think President Obama is Muslim. Close to 60% of Republican  electorate are not sure Obama is a US Citizen. So what ? 

    Don’t come here @ArmenianWeekly to spread your  Anti-Armenian propaganda.
    You don’t like Armenians, that’s fine: you don’t have  to like us: I have no problem with that. But don’t expect to be welcomed here @AW with flowers.

    You get my drift, Dude?  

  15. @ Avery,

    It is ill-mannered, foul-mouthed,god fearing, church-attending narrow-minded Armenians like you ,that kept me away from getting involved in the community for over two decades. Go back and read my response to Karine and grow up.

  16. I did read your original post to Karine.

    She writes a beautiful, inspiring,  uplifting article about Armenian-Armenians, and all you can say is “…neah, neah….nobody cares” (in so many words). Read the positive comments of other posters about the article. Then read yours. 

    Anyone reading AW online obviously is not living in a cave. We all know what country we live,  problems we are facing, and what we need to do.  We don’t need self-doubting defeatists telling us “it’s hopeless” (in so many words).

    If everyone thought like you, there would be no safe, secure, independent Artsakh – surely an obviously hopeless dream in 1988.

    And if your depth of commitment to the community is such that ill-mannered people like me have kept you away from the community for 20 years, then you might as well keep away another 20 years. Community does not need shrinking violets. We need everyone pulling together. Our strength is not in numbers. It is in our unity.

  17. avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm // Reply

    To Avery,
    Firstly I commend  what  you write ordinarily.Here above   I put in my bit after reading Karine’s article,which  actually encouraged-inspired  me rather to go back some 28 years and described what  I witnessed in Lausanne , Switzerland  then at  our First Armenian World Congress. You see, some  of us -even the ex-R.A.F.  Armenian origin Jughayeci grandchild  had  his blood boiling in his veins,the Armenian blood .As otherwise  he would not have driven over to visit  the Armenian  Congress at Lausanne …
    People  such as Jay are  not to be blamed  or ignored.They are  our conservative lot.let them be.They are there not only withion Armenidad-Armenity,Armenians but  in all nations peoples  of the world.They must be “Aguantado” ,spanish  like  to bear  with  them…
    We,our like…-now this  must interesting  to others  here too-are different  to them,they cannot imagine  that  one young  man that  was here on this Forum-+now absent  for months- deicded  to ,or has  near decided to leave the comfortable Euro life and go to Artsakh  and start  life anew….and he is real serious about  it.Even though I suggested to him ,to try to be  in shoiushi at  least-for a young  man of his stature,a near scientist and there to do valuable research/he has gone over 2  times already ,soon very soon goes for 3rd las  time and he has been reccomended to settle down in Karvajar, practically a wilderness..he writes I’ll keep some cow, sheep etc., do a bit of my own green growing  etc., I wrote back  you are neither a cowboy nor a farmer.Stick to your sicentific  works…since  then he must  have been a  bit taken aback from me.For  he  thinks  i am not patriotic enough  to encourage  him to go to the worst area..
    anyhow.there are people like  that  too. I shall write further when I hear from him.No names.My correspondence with him is confidential.But I did dig  up info re  this young  man  he was  even in his teen age  a   genius   an old teenage  friend confirmed  with whom I came across  perchance, also by looking  around  in right places  and  inquiring…
    I am a bit  that  wise…. 

  18. Yes,I have steered clear from community life for the safety of foul-mouthed narrow-minded individuals like yourself. Go RE-read my response to Karine and grow up.

  19. Karine wrote,” I often find myself wondering what Americans think of saroyan’s words?”

    Dear Karine, let me elaborate on this particular sentense. There are not very many Americans out there who are familiar with the name Saroyan, leave alone his words. I’m certain neither Obama nor the Armenian ‘friendly’ U.S. congresspersons or Senators are familiar with it either. American people are not stupid, they just have ‘Don’t Care and Don’t wanna know’ attitude. 95 percent of the North American population have never heard about the Armenians, whether we like it or not that is the fact.   

  20. avatar Just curious // September 7, 2011 at 9:13 am // Reply

    To Jay, I don’t really get your point.  You make ‘small in number and relatively unknown to Americans’ sound like a bad thing.  What does the fame or knowledge of who we are by others have to do with knowing who we are ourselves?  And I think you are wrong about Saroyan.  He is well known among literary and theatre society.
     
    To Karine, thanks for an uplifting piece, but I have to say that I have met many Armenians who do not fit this lovely description.  We have good and bad among us, just like any other group.   But thanks for highlighting some features I admire and will strive to emulate.

  21. Dear Karine, What a nice article, I enjoyed every minute of it.  Yes my dear Armenians have always been good citizens wherever they emigrated to and especially after 1915, we have become like “taparagan Hayer” unfortunately.  Armenian soldiers fought well for Tureky too before they annihilated us in 1915.  Armenians fought during WWII in Soviet Armenia and thousands lost their lives while fighting on the front For Russia when communism took over our little bit of Armenia.
    Armenian Admirals, Marshalls, Generals, Heroes in the Soviet Army during WWII

    Hovhannes (Ivan) Baghramian, General Lieutenant
    Vladimir Ionossian
    Sergei Bournazian
    Ivan Daviti Vekilian
    Andranik Ghazarian, Major-general
    Hamanak Behbouti Mehrabian
    Aydin Arutunian, Senior Sergeant
    Christophore Alaverdov, Major-general
    Արտեմ Միկոյեան – Artem Mikoyan
    http://www.globatarmenianheritage.adic.fr/fr/6histoire/a_d/20_rssa5c.htm

    Our sons, fathers and brothers after 1915 when the remainders of our race became citizens of the world in the four corners of the world fought on behalf of their host countries bravely; but other than in Armenia, unfortunately we don’t have their names or their ranks.

    I hope that your spouse Robert, his friend PFC Zarechian will be coming home safely and may God safekeep every Armenian soldier.

    Avery, I am in agreement with you that since Turkey continues to deny the Armenian Genocide now for 96 years, and Armenians rightfully and justly demands that Turkey accepts their belligerent past of ethnic and Christian cleansing of Turkey during 1915-1923, accepts their responsibility and starts paying reparations to Armenians, most Americans as well as people in the entire world are aware of the Turks and their belligerent past.  Hey, even Britain now is scared stiff of the Turks joining the European Union.  Isn’t it ironic as the British did us a great deal of harm during and before 1915 by siding with the Turks as Turkey has colonized our country and have become stronger and much larger than us.  Now they are afraid as well as the entire neocon west.  Well, we have an Armenian saying that goes…. “տաք հացե փոխ է”.

  22.    Jay, your comments are both dated and irrelevant. Dated in the sense that the awareness of Armenians has significantly changed in the last 30 years with the visibility of our issues in the public light. Today’s Armenian American kids enjoy more recognition in general by the surrounding American public(schools, communities etc) and our youth are contributing to this with projects and papers on their heritage in their school work. This is supplemented by the improved capability of Armenians to address their issues locally and nationally. Finally the reality of a sovereign Armenia and Artsakh allows a legitimate vehicle on the world stage. You need to update your thought process.
              Your thoughts are somewhat irrelevant because the American public tends to focus inwardly and as Avery has aptly pointed out has limited knowledge of subjects that are considered even more mainstream. Your views are either clouded by a long standing bias or a lack of knowledge. Either way you won’t find much sympathy on this post.

  23. ‘You get my drift, Karine?’

    Is this how grown-ups write comments to a serious online weekly  in your neck of the woods, son ?  Maybe you should learn how to write proper English before dispensing advice to others about growing up and such.

    And ‘Saroyan’  being a proper name should be written capitalized, not changed to ‘saroyan’, as you did twice – deliberately.

    (in all 4 citations in Karine’s article, ‘Saroyan’ is capitalized.)
    (so you deliberately misquoted her in your last post).

  24. Dear Jay, 

    So what? I am uninterested in what others know or don’t know. I simply care to highlight what is so. In this case, what is so, is that we have many Armenian Americans serving (and have served) in the U.S. armed forces and their service is adding value to our lives and continuing to bring honor to Armenian-Americans, our forefathers and the country which allows us these wonderful opportunities, the United States of America. 

  25. Jay,

    I think you are exaggerating. Where I live, Americans know well who Armenians are. I have met only a few among educated Americans who only have a vague idea but the most of them know pretty well. 

    I have to agree, however, that the majority of Americans in some Southern and middle states don’t know much about the world outside their area, let alone Armenians. But guess what. A woman from Arkansas told me that her favorite composers were Armenian and her favorite piece of music was Khachaturian’s ballet Gayane.

    As for the  ‘Don’t Care and Don’t wanna know’ attitude, it is not restricted to Armenians.  

  26. Lol, Please spare me, I’m not in search of sympathy, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I follow Armenian news religiously , 24/7 , 366 ,online magazine and paper subscription. My comments are not outdated,  they are up to date, relevant and  based on first hand experience that I have witnessed throughout near two decades of being on the road. When’s the last time any of you Armenians on this forum had stepped out of their community’ circles’ and had lived with non-Armenians for prolong time? Possibly zilch.

    To Just curious,

    I’m stating facts ,Amigo, sheer facts. It is time that you softy, girly-man and manly-girl Armenians , got your fat gazebo’s up and faced the real world. It is time that you have learnt how to take a constructive criticism. It is taking toll on my PC’s Mega Bites, transmmitting comments posted by ethnocentrists Armenians about how BEST we are and how screwed up the rest is. You don’t care what I’m saying, well tough. Next time you notice my name on this forum feel free to take the nearest perimeter and hammer down and don’t look back.

  27.  Gina,

    Yes, over where you live could be the states, north east of North Carolina, the mid-west states or the two western states ( CA and WA) , where there’s a heavy concentration of Armenians population. However, if you are talking about Nebraska, the Dakota’s , Montana, Wyoming and so forth, it is a whole different situation. It does not matter anymore. I was simply bringing up to the author’s attention ,that 98 percent of the North American population is not aware of who the Armenians are ,and that mentioning Saroyan’s name was pointless, let alone his words.  And the woman from ,Arkansas, you are refering to had to be either a student or an Instructor at the University of Arkansas, in Little Rock, AK, the capital.  You step outside Lil’ Rock and it’s a whole weird world out there.

  28. avatar Just curious // September 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm // Reply

    Hey Jay, simmer down there cowboy, dude, partner, pal, amigo.  Are you talking to me?   Did I say I don’t care?    What’s your point?  Maybe you should slow down and read more carefully, and think about what others say rather than just blowing off steam about how disappointed you are in Armenians.  And just maybe you could make your point a little clearer.  Drink a glass of warm milk with honey and take ten deep breaths.  You will feel much better.

  29. avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm // Reply

    You people  out  there!!!  give  this man Jay a bit  of breathing space, wilya…
    It is good to listen others, reasoning  too and try to understand comprehend  what other  non so hard liners  like  you and me -note, me too- think he  has some to his credit too.
    Anyhow, this is small not so important  matter  than, for  istance  not  even Avery like hjas been able to scrutinize  and bring to light  to all of  us and expose-shall we say eye opnener- whatever..
    Lady Seeervart  up there   ERRONEOUSLY  believes  and I quote”Britain is scared stiff of Tureky joining  EU…”  totally the other way around!!!!
    Somehow  Ms  Ashton ,presiding over  EU Council  has aas a rule supported, as  he country and U.S.  Turkey,s entry  thereof!!!! not  what she wants  us to believe.
    Why I might venture or speculate further….that  she was instrumental or at least  very much in favour  of great Turkey  being elected  as the present president  of the EU Council, though   NEITHER  LATTER  NOR  GREAT  BRITAIN  are  members  so far…
    go figure  out  what  ropes they have pulled  up to both be there…
    It  is  FRANCE  and Germany that are against  great Turkey entering  EU  and a host  of small nation states  that  have tasted  the Ottoman rule  in their countries…..
    Please  check  it out  Ms. Seervart  with some friends  as to my viewpoint being  quassi  correct or totally correct.
    Parev  hasgcoghin 

  30. Just curious,

    The rest assured the coast is clear on my end, I’m not sweating bullet, possibly others but not moi. take ‘er easy.

  31. THE most accurate and true statement …..

    Armenians live by their ingrained ability to leave a place better than they found it

    ABSOLUTELY True… NO QUESTIONS ABOUT IT…

    Great story… and thanks to SFC Thompson for becoming an Armenian by choice… you are welcome to our family SFC….

    Gayane   

  32. I am very proud of our soldiers… ALL OF THEM.. regardless of their nationality; however I am more proud of our Armenian soldiers… I am proud of my brother who also served in the army and deployed to Bosnia.. He completed his service years ago; however his disability reminds us that his service to the country came with a heavy price.. However, we should always remember.. a country without strong soldiers will not stand safe… this goes to our own country.. our motherland.. our heart and soul… Armenia.. our soldiers are brave and the world’s most precious people… I always pray for their well being…

    Gayane

  33. Gayane, you should see him drive around town belting out Tata Simonian tunes and telling me to “dzap dzap.” I think he needs his own reality show. Thank you for your kind words. 

  34. Karine jan.. I LOVE IT..lol  I also love Tata..:)

    Tell Mr. T that we are so very proud of him for embracing our culture.. 

    May God watch over him and all other soldiers serving our country including our young soldier Zarechian…

    If you talk to them, tell them we send our love and prayers…

    Gayane    

  35. By the way Karine,

    I enjoyed reading your article.Job well done.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxqUZFBafss

  36. Thank you for your feedback, Jay. 

  37. avatar Random Armenian // September 8, 2011 at 1:12 am // Reply

    Here’s another Armenian American who served in Iraq.
    http://asbarez.com/93544/leading-the-platoon-in-iraq/
    Anyone else know other Armenians who served in the US military in Iraq or Afghanistan? Can we come up with a list.
    There is also this guy from WWII:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_H._Dervishian

  38. Hello Gaytzag,
    You wrote:
    “Lady Seervart up there ERRONEOUSLY believes and I quote “Britain is scared stiff of Turkey joining the EU…” totally the other way around!!!!!”

    I am referring to the most recent news of Britain opposing vehemently the entry of Turkey into the EU.

    I am well aware that especially Germany as well as France have been opposing Turkey into the EU. 

  39. avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm // Reply

    HI SEERVART, 
    Please go back a few yeasrs  not too many, when Ms. Ashton somehow became president  of the EU  Council  and PRIOR TO THAT..
    As to a recent change  in their attitude,why it may happen indeed, after  above two persons are well positioned  in the EU Council. Now  the winds are blowing  in other diretions ..both for them and also great  Turkey,what with a new problem -shall we say-emerging with  ex  good fella   Israel..
    You see  politics  are bound to be  changeable, nothing  is really permanent, especially in politics. Once  one’ s  desire and objective  has been achieved..
    Ask anyhpone  who has followed  up with what transpired  ,i.e.  first  Britian supports Turkey to enter-as well as  others across  the atlantic-now  that they have come  up against  FRANCE  and Germany adamant   NO…they will beplaying other  tunes.
    g.p
     

  40. avatar robert howard // January 27, 2013 at 6:12 am // Reply

    Jay, I wonder how you can call yourself an Armenian ( though i doubt that you probably are ) I was always told to be proud of who you are, and where you come from, and your comments sound suspiciously like those posted by many Turkish individuals. Apparently YOU are the one who is limited, since many people know about the contributions made by Armenians, including their service the the United States of America, and their other adopted homelands. One of the pallbearers for the individual who was killed in Berlin, and who was responsible for helping to organize the Armenian Genocide, was an Armenian-American, whose parents had been exiled from their homeland. And, for your information, every time I am able, I make a point of explaining to young students, or anyone else who will listen to me, about what happened to the Armenians around 1915. One of the individuals to whom I gave a book, called ” The Long Road Home, ” was from a missionary family, and whose Grandparents were there in Kharput during during those events. Somehow, I think it is more than likely that you sign on to some of these forums because you are likely a Turkish Troll, who wishes to discredit any thing positive thing said or published about Armenia or Armenians. To many of the good Turkish People, who do not hate, my hat is off..to the rest, I feel sorry, because, as one Turkish man said to an Armenian who came back to visit his former home, ” when you and your people left, you took all our luck with you. “l

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