David Vaniki Ghazaryan was born on May 5, 1989 in Vedi, Ararat Marz. His father Vanik was an officer in the army. His mother Anik was a housewife. He was raised in a patriotic Armenian home. He was the middle child of the family with two sisters, Gohar and Tamar. He received his schooling in Vedi, and in 2006, he was accepted to the Vazgen Sargsyan Institute. He graduated with honors in 2010.
In 2014, he became a high-ranking commander and a married man. Stationed in Hadrut, Artsakh, he participated in the Four Day War in 2016 and received the Vazgen Sargsyan medal. He became a father on January 25, 2017 to little Ani. That same year, Ghazaryan became a Major. Van was born on October 10, 2018.
Ghazaryan was a highly decorated officer as the recipient of the 20 year of service medal of Armenia, the Vazgen Sargsyan medal, the “Artsakh Heros” Golden Eagle medal.
He died defending his motherland on September 30, 2020 in Hadrut, Artsakh. After being severely wounded, he managed to fight for three more hours until he succumbed to his wounds. He is buried at the Vedi Pantheon. Rest in peace, David. Your nation and your people will never forget you.
The following is a heartfelt message from Hripsime Mailyan, David’s widow.
I first met Davo at his sister Gohar’s house. After the initial meeting, I didn’t see him for a long time. I don’t even know how we met again, maybe God’s will, maybe destiny, I don’t know. We became very close very quickly. I remember each minute, each second that I spent with Davo.
Our first date was on October 25, 2013. Davo was very late. I later found out that it was his mother’s birthday, and his house was filled with guests. I told him that we could have met another time, and he said, “Absolutely not. I’ve finally found you. My family and guests will understand.”
As time went on, I realized that I could never get upset with Davo. He was a man of honor, and he had this innate desire to help anyone who needed him. He was compassionate. When he agreed to help someone, he was all in. David was a genuine, caring and dedicated person. He was one-of-a-kind, and he chose me.
I will never forget the day he proposed to me—October 9, 2014. He was in Hadrut at his post. He had night guard duty. We used to speak on the phone all night long so he wouldn’t fall asleep. That night, he said, “Listen to me carefully. Will you marry me?” To which I responded, “Yes, Dav.”
We got married on November 22, 2014. Sadly, we only lived together for six years. But we understood each other. Sometimes, we didn’t even have to speak words to each other to be understood. With one look and one smile, we knew what the other was thinking.
We were blessed with two wonderful children, Ani and Van. David was an exceptional father. He would come home very tired, but he would still find the energy to play games with the children until he exhausted them. He would say, “Ani, Van, come and sleep on Dad’s arms.” They would all take a respite.
He was a high-ranking official in the army. On the day of the soldiers’ oath, there were parents who were unable to find lodging. So David suggested they come to our home. The parents came over after the ceremony. David played with the children. Our guests were so impressed. Before they left, they said, “We leave with our hearts at ease since our son is in David’s care. We saw what a gentleman he is, and we saw his caring nature toward his soldiers and his family.”
David was an extraordinary husband, father, son, grandson, brother and friend.
I remember when he came to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. My father had one question for him. He asked, “David, will you be able to respect and support your parents and wife after you get married?” David replied, “If I say yes now, you won’t believe me. I will answer you after you see us live our lives and see if I’m capable.” My parents gave us their blessing. They respected him for his honesty. He earned everyone’s respect.
I remember one time he had spoken with candor to one of his friends, who was much older than him. He felt bad about his tone, but later expressed that it’s better for his friend to hear it from him than to get in trouble.
It was only two months before his death that he had his new children. Yes, he called his soldiers his children. He would always say, “You have two kids to take care of at home. I have 300 to 400 of them to take care of.” The two months before his death he hardly had a day off. He would get home late. He said he was teaching his soldiers how to protect themselves.
We were together for a short time, but he taught me so much. Thank you, David, for every second that we spent together. Thank you for our two miracles. Thank you for your trust and confidence in me. I honor you, my heart’s companion.
Hripsime Mailyan has established the David Ghazaryan Charity Foundation, which helps families of fallen heroes with mental health services, education, jobs and other resources. Mailyan wants her husband’s legacy of devotion to homeland and family to live on through this foundation (firstname.lastname@example.org).
My heart 😭🙏🏻🇦🇲
My heart breaks for his beautiful little family, he’s such a caring husband and father.
Left behind love, care and unity for sake of holy motherland.
Thank you Talar for sharing with us and remembering their names. 🙏🇦🇲