AMVETS Post 41 Reaches out to Armenia’s Front-Line Troops

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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.

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Recently, Post 41 donated $10,000, split evenly between AMVETS District 5 and the AMVETS Department of Massachusetts with the proviso that the hard-earned money of these Post 41 veterans be used to help their comrades in need.

Besides defending its borders, the Armenian Army plays an active role in International Affairs. Todd Jacobus, life member of AMVETS Post 2008 in Belmont, MA recently retired as Deputy Commander of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the dangerous regions of Kosovo reports that he commanded the Armenian Army and others who participated in peace-keeping in Kosovo. He cites the tremendous care and concern by the Armenian soldiers under his command. During his service, AMVETS Post 2008 donated scores of CARE packages to the troops under difficult conditions which reached the Armenian and other troops under his command.

In addition, in another international sphere, Post 2008 AMVETS donated scores of CARE packages and sports clothing to troops under the command of Major Felix Gregorian, who served combat tours as an AMVET of Post 2008 with no less than five tours of duty in the Middle East before being retired last year.

Gregory Arabian, Esq., retired US Army Major, and former active member of Post 41, was moved by this story. He is currently commander of Post 2008 in Belmont and first vice-commander of AMVETS district 5. He has decided to recognize this goodwill project of Post 41 at the AMVETS National Convention, stating, “God Bless AMVETS Post 41 for their care, concern and generosity in tough times like these. AMVETS is involved, is alive, and is a body of veterans helping veterans and others in need, whether in the national or international sphere. I will report it everywhere. I will also address this year’s AMVETS National Convention with this story of goodwill and sacrifice”

  • Jack Medzorian

 

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