Soldiers equipped with the first-aid kits

Wounded Heroes of Armenia and Artsakh Still Need Diaspora’s Help

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WATERTOWN — The war may be over for now, but soldiers in Armenia and Artsakh are still on duty and still need the diaspora’s help, says the co-founder of the Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund (AWHF).

A soldier who has suffered devastating injuries

Razmig Arzoumanian in an interview this week said that the AWHF has raised almost $6 million in 6 weeks from global supporters.

In a statement sent to donors and supporters, the organizers suggest that the support for the troops should continue, as their enemies will still be there.

“Armenia remains under constant threat, surrounded by hostile enemies who are committed to complete their genocidal goals.  Our enemies will use this time to reload their military, so we will need to rebuild our defenses.  Sadly, we have almost 2,000 fallen heroes and 5,000 wounded heroes who need our help.  Despite our disappointments, Armenia and Artsakh are still our homeland and we can’t turn our backs on our heroes and their sacrifices,” the statement read in part.

Among the items that will be sent there purchased by these funds is heavy-duty personal protection equipment, which the US is in the process of approving.

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They have provided first-aid training to many of the soldiers on the frontlines.

Among things that have been sent already or are in the process of being sent are:

  • Thousands of military-grade first aid kits (in addition to over 21,000 first-aid kits delivered prior to the war)
  • 4,600 thermal undergarments (for the winter)
  • 1,410 solar chargers
  • 350 high quality sleeping bags
  • 850 raincoats
  • Other tactical and communications gear
  • Critical supplies for the Stepanakert, Goris and Yerevan military hospitals, including IV prep kits, sutures, catheters, syringes and more

“These guys have been through hell for 45 days, to say the least. There is a calamity in the hospitals with burn patients and soldiers who have brain damage, are handicapped and blind. They have all been through massive trauma,” he noted.

“The diaspora thinks everyone has left. There is still a lot of stuff going on. We need to support them now more than ever,” he added.

Arzoumanian was in turns optimistic and worried. “The guys on the frontline are freezing their butts off,” he said, noting that they are still on duty defending Armenia and the smaller Artsakh and their needs continue even after the official end to the hostilities.

“It’s not the last war, unfortunately,” Arzoumanian added.

Good arriving in Armenia

“We cover a lot of the budget ourselves,” he said. “We don’t have a staff and its all volunteers. One hundred percent of all our money gets to where it should go. There is a tight vacuum and it is all going to the soldiers.”

“If we want a country, we have to be prepared,” he said, especially in light of neighbors like Turkey and Azerbaijan.

And thus the help is still needed. “What we don’t want to see is to have an entire force fall. The donations still get there because they are met by a specific central line in the US to the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Ministry of Defense,” he noted.

And those are still functioning, he said.

After the capitulation, he said, so much is up in the air.

“The key is, these guys still need us and we can still help them. After all the sacrifices they have made, we can’t turn our backs on them. I hope we can learn from this and realize we need to be more actively supporting our forces. Otherwise, we won’t survive. If we don’t defend ourselves, we will get screwed.”

To get supplies there, the group charters a plane.

To send donations, go to https://armenianwoundedheroes.com/

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