Our Karen (Gahren)

Karen (Gahren) Stepani Hovanissyan (1996-2020)

Karen (Gahren) Stepani Hovanissyan was a proud soldier who loved his homeland. He had already served his nation, but he volunteered his expertise to defend her again during the 44-Day War.

Hovanissyan was born on May 17, 1996 in Yerevan, Armenia. His childhood was filled with love and warmth. His older brother Mikhayel was two years his senior. He was a stellar student and beloved by all of his teachers. 

Karen (Gahren) Stepani Hovanissyan as a young boy

His smile would brighten everyone’s days. He was dedicated to his family and very close to his father. When he was 11 years old, he experienced the devastating loss of his father. Both boys, ages 11 and 13 then, had to mature rather quickly. Their mother Melania raised her children to be strong and valiant Armenian men. Her eldest is 28 years old now and has two beautiful children of his owna daughter named Melania (Karen chose her name) and a one-year-old son named after our hero, Karen (Gahren). Baby number three is on the way.  

Melania and her son Karen (Gahren)

Hovanissyan graduated with a degree in architecture. He was a kind and sweet son. He loved to play soccer and swim. He had a love of learning and was enamored by Armenian writers like Sevak, Charents and Komitas. He served in Armenia’s Armed Forces from 2015 to 2017 in Armavir and then Vayk. He was known for his discipline, dedication and service and received many honors and medals.  

Karen (Gahren) Stepani Hovanissyan with his older brother Mikhayel

On September 29, 2020, he began his service in Artsakh. He fought heroically for his homeland and its people. He was martyred on October 2, 2020 and posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor (Ariootion) and Medal of Service.

Melania visiting her son’s grave

In his honor, there is a khachkar in the courtyard of his home, where people visit to pay their respects to the brave soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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Brave, kind son of Armenia, may you rest in peace. We will never forget you and will continue your mission for the homeland.  

Talar Keoseyan

Talar Keoseyan

Talar Keoseyan is a mother, educator and writer. Talar’s books "Mom and Dad, Why Do I Need to Know My Armenian Heritage?", "Tigran’s Song and "Our Tigran" are available on Amazon. She has been an educator for 26 years and resides in Los Angeles, CA. She can be reached at talar725@gmail.com.


  1. Their stories are so well told Talar! Great work bringing to light the precious stories of our fearless lions 🙏🏻 May God be with his family 🇦🇲

  2. Our hero Karen
    He had dreams, projects, life to enjoy that he kept all of them behind for sake of our Armenia.
    God bless you and your family superhero 🙏
    Thank you Talar for your courage & patience to keep their memories alive .

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