“I didn’t fully understand the idea of the Army until I set foot in the barracks,” said Henry Harutyunyan (CS ‘20), reflecting on how strongly his compulsory two years of service affected his life.
During the war, Henry was responsible for the communications between all the units in the Martakert region, receiving a certificate for outstanding performance during and after the war.
“The memory that usually comes to my mind when thinking of April 2016 is the moment a missile was flying towards us,” said Henry. “As I heard the blow, my life flashed before my eyes and I thought of my family, friends and all the people I ever loved, even those I hadn’t thought about lately.”
“You hear the blast and realized you are saved for the moment and you will get the chance to see those people again,” continued Henry. “But someone else died in your place.”
He recalls the day their unit was passing through Martakert, which was under bombs. Through the open window he saw the people of city rushing to collect their gatherings to leave the city before they were harmed.
“But instead of running to leave, they were standing all along the road blessing us and making crosses with their hands,” said Henry. “I was someone doing my duty and I was there by pure chance, but those people lived there for decades, forced to leave their birthplace, unsure if they would ever return.”
After serving his time, Henry returned to campus and credits his friends and classmates for helping him readjust to university life and focus on his studies in computer science and engineering. He appreciates the “era of technological revolution in Armenia” and seeks to follow a career in the field.“
AUA has some of the brightest minds in the country and it is not only a good source of academic knowledge, but also a cause of immense motivation.”
Henry has hope for the future of Armenia to become “an innovative, industrial country” through its human capital and is eager to become an active participant in the country’s civil society.