“It was October 7, my Raz called, very excited and happy: ‘Mom, dear, you have a hero son.’ I said in fear, ‘What have you done?’ ‘How to tell you in two words? Just fought’. This is how 20-year-old soldier Razmik Madatyan shared his joy with his mother; he was awarded the “Combat Service” medal just yesterday.

We found Mrs. Shoghik in the village of Bambakashat, Armavir region, at her sister’s house. She has not spoken to Razmik for thirteen days, and learned from Artsrun Hovhannisyan’s Facebook page that her son performed a heroic feat and was awarded a medal.

Hovhannisyan wrote on his page that Private Razmik Madatyan and a group of other servicemen were rewarded for their direct participation in capturing enemy positions, destroying a large number of enemy troops, weapons and ammunition․

“When I saw what was written on Artsruni’s page, I cried a lot… I am thankful to God that I have such a child, but now the most important thing for me is to hear his voice for a second. I do not care for the medal, my only wish is that he returns in one piece,” said Ms. Shoghik in a conversation with Forrights. She did not put aside her phone during the whole conversation with us, regularly looking at the screen so that she suddenly does not miss a call from her son․

“Yes, my phone is always with me. I never have kept it so close to me in my entire life, now I do not put it aside for a minute, hoping that my Raz will call.”

The news of his brother’s award was a surprise to his younger brother Artyom, who is currently in Artsakh for military service. According to the mother, the younger son did not believe her word at first, he thought she was joking, then he was no longer able to restrain his joy and happiness․

“If usually Artyoms calls once in a day, he called three times yesterday. In the end, he joked saying it is he who should have received that medal, Raz rushed before him,” says the mother of two sons, smiling through tears.

In three months, Razmik will complete his second year of service, but he will be demobilized only a year later. The boy preferred to enter the service with the “I am” program, which envisaged three years of service for a certain amount of money. The younger one also wanted to follow his brother’s path, but the program has already ended.

The amount of the service is targeted: they want to buy a house. The boys, who lived almost all their lives in a rented place, then in their grandfather’s house, have decided to provide a roof for themselves first, then pursue other golas.

“I did not agree, I did not want him to serve for three years, I was afraid, but Raz insisted.”

Razmik and Artyom studied at Tigran Mets Military College at an early age. According to Mrs. Shoghik, both sons are brave, very friendly and adaptable. The boys, in their turn, reassure the parent, it is easy for them to serve, let the mother not worry.

“They have never complained about anything during their service, I have never heard any dissatisfaction. On the contrary, I was asking from here not to rise to positions, he promised, then I would learn that he had gone to the front line. Today both of them are in vey combative mood. He constantly talks about his brother, says, mom, you should be in touch with my brother, call him. They both are mine, how can I differentiate?”

Mrs. Shoghik has not seen her eldest son for nine months. The last meeting was in January, after which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visits and vacations were banned. The mother, however, hopes that after the end of the war, whatever happens, she should see and hug Razmik․

“Every day I pray to God to wake up and hear my boys’ voices. Medals, orders, they are things that I do care until they call.”

Roza Vardanyan

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