The American University of Armenia & Veterans of Armenia: Arm in Arm Supporting Armenia’s Veterans

The American University of Armenia is proud to have the support of the Veterans of Armenia (VOA) organization in providing scholarships to our veteran students. 

“No Soldier Left Behind” is the guiding principle of the Veterans of Armenia non-profit organization whose mission is to provide for veterans in Armenia and their families through various means that would help them readjust to civilian life, including psychological support to combat post-traumatic stress disorder, physical support, and financial assistance. Founded in 2020, the organization was formed by a close group of friends who were seeking to have a meaningful impact on the motherland.

The areas of support are outlined in the three pillars of the organization, which are: (1) Pre-war efforts: helping strengthen medical infrastructure in Armenia to aid in preparations for wartime emergencies; (2) Active duty efforts: supporting active-duty soldiers through the organization and facilitation of proper equipment to bolster front-line efforts; and (3) Post-war efforts: ensuring that veterans receive the necessary medical care, therapy support, and opportunities to help them get reacclimated to their communities.  

Recent projects that support the stated pillars include the distribution of military equipment during the 2020 Artsakh War, secured through private donor funding; sponsoring the buildout of the prosthetics center at the Homeland Defenders Rehabilitation Center; their stellar project, Homes for Heroes, which retrofitts the homes of injured soldiers to accommodate their disabilities; partnership with the Family Rescue Fund, also an AUA supporter, for the construction of  the new Veterans’ Hospital of Armenia; and educational aid to veterans through the establishment of scholarships at AUA. 

Throughout their continual conversations with veterans, VOA has observed a dominant characteristic: “They are never looking for handouts — they just want an equal opportunity. We’re here to ensure that they have that opportunity because we know that they are more than capable.”

When one of the founders, Fred Sarkisyan, was introduced to the AUA Development team, he felt that partnering with AUA would be an appropriate direction to take, considering that both VOA and AUA have shared principles and a long-term vision of helping Armenia progress through education. Emin Hakobian, VOA board member, says, “We are excited to be contributing to the education of our soldiers through AUA because by doing so, not only are we furthering our organization’s goals to provide veterans with post-war support, but we are also helping educate young veterans thereby directly impacting Armenia’s future growth in so many areas, including strengthened defense systems.”

Currently, Veterans of Armenia is supporting a number of AUA veteran students through scholarships, and they are looking to continue and increase their support for the upcoming academic year. As the students resume their studies and plan for their professional careers after graduation, Lermont Akopyan, VOA co-founder and board member, offers these words of encouragement. “With the same diligence you applied fighting in the war, now, it’s time to direct those efforts to building your future. It is the time to trade your weapons for knowledge and success. You were devotedly duty-bound to fight for your country, and must acknowledge that you owe your success to yourself and to all the fallen soldiers who did not have the opportunity to turn the page. Now, without any hesitation, move forward toward achieving your personal goals and dreams, and remember, you have an entire country and the Armenian Diaspora to help propel you forward,” he urges. 

AUA looks forward to further growth and enrichment of our veterans’ programs through academic partners like VOA.