By Hrachuhi Almastyan
Photos by Nare Vardumyan
08-06-2016
Hero Harutyun Badalyan: “The only thing I am afraid of is choosing my better half…”
They would come up to the podium, look at the attendees with modesty and say one or two sentences in a very calm tone-“I struck three tanks”, “I bombed the adversary’s helicopter”, “we regained a position, making the enemy suffer great casualties”. The weighty significance of the short sentences about the courage and endeavors of the small and modest boys has changed the destiny of the Armenian nation. They are our heroes of the Artsakh war, including Harutyun Badalyan, Arthur Aghasyan, Gevorg Manukyan, Rafayel Hovhannisyan, Gevorg Khachatryan, Samvel Sahakyan…and the list goes on.

Eritasard.am’s correspondent was lucky to spend a day with them, talk to the strong defenders of our borders up close, feel courageous and be filled with positive energy.

Only when you talk to those brave men do you understand how powerless your questions, your voice recorder and your official presence are. What kinds of questions? You don’t ask a soldier having experienced war and lost a friend questions, but “read” them in his eyes…

We are in Martakert. I talk to living hero, recipient of the 2nd degree “Cross of Combat” Order, 20-year-old Harutyun Badalyan.

“Harut, my hero, let me hug you and congratulate myself for having such a defender in my country…”

Senior shooter of the 2nd squad of the 2nd platoon of the 6th shooting company of the 2nd shooting battalion of N military unit of the Defense Army, Private Harutyun Badalyan has been awarded with the 2nd degree “Cross of Combat” Order.

-I definitely wanted to go and defend a military position. After six months of training, I voluntarily selected the most dangerous position in Talish. During military service, I have always tried to reach a peak. I don’t like to stay in one place and limit myself to one thing. You can achieve something more every time…

On April 2 at around 05:10, observer of military position N 140, Private Harutyun Badalyan notices the adversary’s diversion group approaching the military position and reports the military position’s senior officer, Junior Sergeant Arthur Aghasyan.

-I noticed the large troop of the enemy. The first thing I thought was that I was going to die. Seven or eight minutes after the clash, I was injured with a grenade. I fell to the ground, got up again and noticed that two people were approaching the residence. I ran in that direction, faced them at a distance of nearly 2 meters, shot and eliminated them. The soldier next to the first one fled, and I hit the second one.

Amid the shots fired from the adversary’s mortars, Junior Sergeant Arthur Aghasyan makes quick decisions, doesn’t panic, organizes an oval defense and fights with the diversionists

along with the personnel of the military position. With a grenade, he strikes and injures the diversionist found on the brustver and eliminates him with a machine gun, after which he drags him to the other two diversionists killed in the area near the cabin.

Harutyun is wounded and transferred to the military hospital. He tries to escape the hospital and go back to the military position from where he is transferred to Sisyan city hospital. He says he was wounded on his birthday.

Harutyun has his notion of a hero…

-All the border guards who did more than they could, are heroes…

He was happy when he received the “Cross of Combat” Order, but was sadder…

-I wasn’t fully happy when I was receiving the order. Most of the deceased soldiers were my friends-in-combat. No matter how much I talk about this, it will be hard to understand me. I relive everything when I talk about this. My deceased friends were heroic and brave boys…

He is silent for a moment, and the melancholy in his eyes speaks for him…He has very different views on life after the military operations…

-When you fear death, your notion of life sharply changes. You start appreciating everything…

Harutyun Badalyan was drafted after getting accepted to the National Agrarian University of Yerevan. He also wants to study in the Faculty of Economics and Management at Yerevan State University. Harut isn’t afraid of anything during his military service. The only thing he is afraid of is civic life and choosing his better half.

-Civic life is more difficult than military service. I am afraid of choosing my better half. It is very important because I will be spending the rest of my life with that person. You have to make the right choice so that you don’t get tired of that person over time and so that life is interesting.

There are only 14 days left until Harutyun Badalyan is demobilized. Despite his notions of civic life and his plans, he is ready to leave for the military positions and give the enemy the counterattack it deserves, if necessary.