Nineteen-Year-Old Arman Avetisyan: ‘The Most Valuable Loss I Experienced in April Was the Loss of My Friends’
Special for the Armenian Weekly
YEREVAN (A.W.)—Nineteen-year-old Arman Avetisyan was injured in the southeastern part of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh/NKR) during this past April’s Four-Day-War, which was triggered by Azerbaijani aggression.
Avetisyan was attempting to assist his fellow commander.
After losing his leg from this injury and remaining in the hospital for eight months, he was surprised to learn that he would be able to walk again.
“Dr. Mkrtich Kinosyan visited me. This man, with his positivity and optimism, completely changed everything,” Avetisyan says. “Following him, many men with prosthetics visited me and I began to get convinced that I will be able to walk again. I never imagined that I would be in this situation. At the time I was only thinking about being released from the hospital as soon as possible because I did not like the environment there,” he says.
After being discharged from the hospital, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg that allowed him to walk, run, bike, and even drive. He decided that he will not allow his weakness to bother his everyday life.
“I am not less or more than the average man walking down the street. I tried hard to adjust to the prosthetic leg however I could. To be honest, it’s not much different now,” Avetisyan says. “There are very few things that I am not able to do. The first couple of days were difficult and I would not even last an entire day with the prosthetic. Then I gradually began to adapt and get used to it.”
According to Avetisyan, the first temporary prosthetic leg proved to be less comfortable and more restricting. Currently, with the permanent prosthetic, the difference has been noticeable.
For Avetisyan, it was very important to visit the homes of his fellow soldiers who died in the April War—after being able to walk again, the homes were the first places he went.
“The most valuable loss I experienced in April was the loss of my friends… I only dream to see them for just one more second… I do not know,” he says. “I’m trying to combat my feelings of longing by visiting the families of my friends, but it seems to be making it worse. Zhora Yesayan’s mother began crying as soon as she saw me. She then called me over and kissed my eyes because my eyes had seen her son last,” Avetisyan adds.
Avetisyan was even able to return to Artsakh to visit the military base where he was serving.
“I have many friends who are still serving and I wish to take their suffering. When I arrived at the military base, my friends were at the frontlines on duty. I then asked the commander if I could visit them at their post and he provided a car for me to do so. I stayed with my friends for about 14-15 hours and remembered my days of being in the same position, day and night. We spoke about how people’s attitude towards the serving soldiers changed following the April war and became more supporting. Very little of what is spoken about in Yerevan reaches the frontlines. A valued soldier makes a soldier even stronger and helps them thrive. I have been in that situation and I know this well,” he says.
Avetisyan says that since returning, everything at the frontlines has changed, including the positions, the structure, the ammunition, and the roads.
“It was as if the posts where I was serving were not even there. At first glance, I didn’t even recognize where we were going. If the Azeris attacked again—like how they did in April and caused the loss of many 18-19 year old servicemen—the result will be the opposite this time,” he says. “[The Azeris] will experience three times the loss.”
Avetisyan is currently studying mechanical engineering at the Agrarian University. He also recently received a job offer from one of the banks in Armenia and will begin there soon. When asked about a girlfriend, he said that he will not deny or confirm.
This report was filed by the Armenian Weekly’s contributor in Armenia/NKR Ani Avetyan.