By Taleen Babayan
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
NEW YORK — When Maj. Sargis Stepanyan realized a fellow soldier was trapped among landmines during a special operations forces mission in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), he did what the best military commanders on the battlefield do — he risked his own life trying to save him. That rescue attempt would ultimately cost him his two legs and right arm, but helped him fulfill a greater calling through the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund (AWHF) and its life-saving mission.
Hailed as a war hero since that fateful day in 2014, Stepanyan has continued to devote his life to the Armenian Armed Forces and has discovered a new purpose of raising awareness for the medical emergencies soldiers face on the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as providing counsel to other wounded soldiers, inspiring them.
In his first-ever trip to the United States, Stepanyan spent time in the New York metro area as well as in Las Vegas and Los Angeles to garner support for the AWHF’s US Military-Grade Kits that have allowed soldiers to become their own medics on the field in the crucial moments after they’re hit.