Shuli Hakobyan, participant of the April-four-day war, awardee of Order of “Battle Cross” 2nd marks today his 22nd birthday anniversary. Shuli started his special day at the workplace and received the first congratulations from relatives. Then came wishes from friends, acquaintances and even strangers.
Today, everyone from kids to elders know the hero from Gyumri who hit three tanks in half an hour during the four-day war in April 2016. His friend Rafayel Hovhannisyan was at the frontline during the war as well. Being just three posts away from Shuli, Rafayel also hit three tanks. Speaking of the boys’ heroism, the Gyumri residents proudly state: “Gyumri hit six tanks.”
Shuli does not consider himself a hero. In numerous interviews he used to say what he did was just his military duty, while those who fell during the war for the sake of motherland are the real heroes.
In an interview with Panorama.am, Shuli said there is no special way to mark the birthday, yet the relatives every year turn the day into a holiday for him. Hei has no idea what is waiting for him today yet admits - surprises are not excluded.
The most memorable birthday for Shuli was two years ago - his 20th birthday he met while carrying out engineering work in a military post
“It was right after the April war that changed much in my life and in the lives of my fellow servicemen. I had different perceptions before the 20th anniversary, different goals, while everything changed just within days as I reconsidered the values after the April military actions,” Shuli recalled.
The young man, who passed through the flames of the war and lost numerous friends, cherishes one single wish: “I just want peace, positive changes in the people’s life, as all my wishes and dreams are about the peace. If peace is established everything will come true,” Shuli assured.
The hero refuses to talk about his goals and has no plans about forming a family yet. As he confessed he has no girlfriend, yet added smiling shyly he had received congratulations from ladies as well he added
We join all his relatives and friends in wishing a happy birthday to Shuli.
Born in Gyumri in 1996, Shuli was called to army in 2014, to serve in a military base in Mataghis. During the April four-day war, Shuli was in Talish, serving as a deputy commander of an antitank platoon
Shuli Hakobyan was one of those heroes, who managed to withdraw the enemy from the distance of 1200 meters by targeting three of their tanks with antitank missile system. Today, Shuli works at the ministry of defense and studies at Yerevan State University.
Photos by Panorama.am and from Shuli Hakobyan’s Facebook account