Garo Kahkejian, known as Spitak Arch (The White Bear), was a participant of the Artsakh War and the commander of the “Crusaders” volunteer unit.
Garo Kahkejian was born on March 24, 1962, in the city of Aleppo, Syria. After graduating the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Frankfurt University of Engineering, Kahkejian moved to Fresno, California. He was fluent in Armenian, English, French, German, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic.
After the Spitak earthquake of 1988, Kahkejian arrived in Armenia for the first time. In Armenia, he actively participated in rescue operations in the affected areas. He also raised money from the Armenian diaspora for financial aid for Armenia.
In the years of the Artsakh War, Garo Kahkejian established the “Crusaders” detachment. This detachment under his command would participate in battles near Martuni, Hadrut, Mardakert, Lachin, and Karvachar. During the battle for heights “Pushken Yal”, the “Crusaders” was holding the heights until the arrival of Armenian forces.
Garo Kahkejian died on June 26, 1993, in combat near the village of Magauz in Mardakert. He was buried in the Yerablur military cemetery in Yerevan.