Levon Stepanyan, who died in a rocket strike on September 30, would have turned 20 on July 3. “I was kissing him then, now I am kissing his tombstone,” says Heghine Asatryan, the mother of the killed soldier.

Levon, the only child of his parents, was a jeweler before joining the army. He had already mastered serious skills and was going to continue doing the job he already loved.

“On October 1, I was going to work, people on the bus were talking about the victims. One of our fellow villagers was serving with my son. They said that Suren had died, that there was a boy with Suren, that he was Garni [a village] grandson, but he was born in Abovyan [a city]. My Levon was born in Abovyan. I said, “What, did Suren die? Suren was with my son.” How would I know that the boy who was with Suren was my son? Then, I came home. The traffic in our house gradually increased. I thought, these people have never come here, how come they are so worried? One of the relatives approached, he thought I knew… he told me something has happened… But I was waiting for him; even if injured, I was waiting… I said if he is injured and you are hiding from me, tell me, I will endure… ” says the mother.

The circumstances of her son’s death were later told by the soldiers who miraculously survived. “My Levon was a sniper. They fought very hard. They participated [to war] very actively. There was no fear, nothing. They say that those who looked at him, those who did not know him, could never imagine that he could fight like that. They fought very hard; they were not afraid… They were being transferring and a rocket hit their car,” said Mrs. Heghine.

11 servicemen were killed on the spot. Two of his fellow servicemen survived.

After the loss of their son, Levon’s parents made an important decision: they are going to have a child.

“I got health problems due to this nervous state and stress. I need a minor operation. After that, we are preparing for vitro fertilization. I just promised my Levon that I will have a baby. The greatest gift for him will be the fact that there is someone next to his parents. Our life will have meaning. We lived by Levon; there is no life without him,” Heghine Asatryan told us.

Three of Levon’s classmates were killed during the war. Now everyone is buried in Garni community cemetery of Kotayk region.

Ani Gevorgyan

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