WATERTOWN — On January 28, on the Army Day holiday in Armenia, Watertown-based Cpl. Paul S. Marsoubian Post 41 AMVETS reached out to front-line soldiers celebrating the 26th Anniversary of the Army of the Republic of Armenia. The post donated a commemorative holiday meal to front-line soldiers in the trenches defending the hostile border of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Tavush region of Armenia. Besides meat blessed by the clergy and cooked in a stew called “Khashlama,” soldiers were given tea, coffee, bread, chocolate, soda and cigarettes.
This project was conceived of and spearheaded by Jack Medzorian an AMVETS Post 41, past post commander, trustee and charter member and under the leadership of George Haroutunian, present commander and trustee of the post. This project was a huge success thanks to excellent coordination by Gohar Palyan, Yerevan-based Knights of Vartan representative, and Rev. Aram Mirzoyan, the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), as well as local volunteers commandeered by Mirzoyan. Based in the front-line border town of Berd, Mirzoyan is the spiritual leader of the area 4-5 hours northeast of Yerevan called Shamshadeen, comprised of 16 front-line border villages where the troops are entrenched.
Commander A. Kirakosyan of the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Armenia was so impressed by this act of goodwill that he sent an official Certificate of Gratitude praising the AMVETS Post 41 for its generosity.
Armenia’s courageous army has been under attack by neighboring Azerbaijan in violation of a cease-fire agreement negotiated 24 years ago. In addition, Azerbaijan and Turkey, in defiance of International Law, have both blockaded Armenia. As a consequence, land-locked Armenia stands surrounded and cut off on both ends, with limited access only to Iran and Georgia for transit of vital goods. In spite of Armenia being a member of the United Nations, there seems to be little or no interest and efforts to mediate a peace treaty and efforts to date by the OSCE have had no success to date.
Post 41 was founded in 1952 in Watertown by American-Armenian veterans of World War II and named in memory of a local hero Corporal Paul S. Marsoubian who died in Germany in battle in WWII. Several veterans of AMVETS Post 41 have served in combat with courage and some have been awarded the Purple Heart and cited for bravery.
Post 41 has played an active role in national and international affairs, having produced a national AMVETS commander and a state commander over its 66-year history. The post has a monthly luncheon meeting at the Armenian General Benevolent Union Center, Watertown, during which dedicated members greet each other, enjoy lunch and continue to support worthy causes.