AUA gave me and my fellow veterans the most heartwarming and generous return to campus. Due to AUA’s support and care, veterans have been able to transition from the traumatizing situations they experienced and adjust back to student life. It is beyond description what it really meant for us to be appreciated and taken care of after serving in the April 2016 four-day war in Nagorno Karabakh. AUA has always demonstrated the respect, care, and attention to its students from all backgrounds.
– Arman Vardanyan, B.A. in English & Communications, ‘20, Recipient of AGBU Asbeds Scholarship (2017-2018) & Mario Mazzola and Luciana Cavalett Endowed Scholarship (2018-2019)
While many college students around the world live a typical life of studying and spending time with friends, Arman Vardanyan fought for his life during the four-day War in April 2016 where he and his fellow soldiers protected the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh against Azerbaijan. A trained shooter, Arman slept in his tank day and night, subsisting only on dry bread and rainwater. In those tense moments he felt his dreams of graduating from college wash away until a conciliatory thought struck him:
“If I am going to die, then let it be for my homeland and for the security of our Armenian grandmothers, mothers and sisters. I was no longer afraid… I was ready to fight.”
Although he survived and served his country with “dignity and honor,” many of his friends succumbed to the tragedy of war. When Arman returned to AUA after two years in the military, he struggled to transition back to a life before violence, bloodshed and death.
“Serving in the military does not end my role and vision for Armenia, said Arman.” As a citizen of Armenia, I hold such great respect, love, and dedication to my country. My goals and aspirations of becoming a diplomat have helped me seek out opportunities where I can gain those knowledge and skills in order to make a significant impact in Armenia.”
“I had many sleepless nights and desperately waited for my son’s return.”
“We were honored that our son joined the military and showed great passion for Armenia, despite the hard times of the April 2016 war. As a parent, I wouldn’t want anyone’s child to be in the military in those times since it was unpredictable what could happen. I had many sleepless nights and desperately waited for my son’s return. Thankfully he came back healthy and strong, but we noticed how sad and depressed he was after being affected by bombings, shootings and disturbed days. It took him quite some time to recover emotionally and psychologically but the support he received from AUA helped him continue his dreams to earn an education. We would like to send our warm and genuine appreciation to all the donors who sponsored my son’s education and made his dreams come true by studying at such a remarkable university. He wouldn’t be where he is now without AUA’s support.”