Garo Kahkejian – The White Bear – Heroes of Armenia

Garo Kahkejian – The White Bear

Garo Kahkejian arrived in Armenia in 1989 when the Artsakh movement was just beginning. He was one of those who left their prosperous life in America, not seeing any heroism in it. We met with him a few days before his departure for Artsakh.

The conversation lasted about forty minutes, as a result of which this material was born that he asked us not to publish in the next 8 months. I did not ask why and agreed.

However, fate decreed otherwise. Some ten days after leaving, one of the soldiers of his detachment called me: “Garo died. He died during the capture of Martakert…”


“Since childhood, I dreamed of coming to my homeland and living here. That was my biggest dream. And here I am, in my homeland, in my home, thank God. I prefer to eat only bread and water but live in Armenia.

We in the Diaspora have always hoped that this would someday happen, that Armenia would become free and independent, and we would come here and help it to stand up on its feet. Unfortunately, today, our assistance is limited by, let’s say, humanitarian limits. Things couldn’t have been otherwise – it’s war. We mainly deliver food, medicine, and other necessities to Artsakh.”

“What have you been engaged in in America?”

“I was engaged in business, had my own office, my own company. In addition, my family has a plant in Africa. But now, for me, the main thing is what is happening in Artsakh. “

“Can we solve the Armenian issue?”

“Yes, why not? We still have a lot to do, but we are optimists, and our enemy knows us well. He knows how dangerous we become when necessary.

We are people who love extremes. Our current situation is not the most difficult because throughout its history, Armenia has seen worse times but has nevertheless risen to its feet.

I am an Armenian soldier, and I do not want any kind of party commitment to come to the army. Politics, the party – their place is in the capital, in the parliament. All this should not enter the army. The army should be neutral.

And the more neutral it is, the higher its effectiveness will be. Each warrior must remember one common rule – their party is their homeland.”

Before taking Martakert, Garo led his unit to Magavuz. He chose the hottest spot, the one from which the enemy had attacked three times but had been thrown back with heavy losses.

A detachment of 9 people broke through the enemy front line, and Garo was the first to break into Martakert. The enemy was driven back from its front lines by only 9 fighters, 9 Armenian fedayi soldiers, 9 fearless Christians.

Support was promised to the detachment, but for some unknown reason, it arrived too late.

The fight was fierce. Holding the liberated positions, the fighters held on for more than a day.

In the end, Garo fell, inscribing his name in the ranks of the great warriors of Armenia and the immortal Saints of the Armenian land. He confirmed with his charitable and Christian life the eternal tribal call – “Conscious death is immortality.”

He gave his life for his homeland, for his people, for his brothers and sisters, for justice and truth as a true Christian — in a word, he gave his life for a charitable cause!

Marina Torosyan,

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