By Vicken Darakdjian, Montreal, 10 April 2022
It has been almost one- and one-half years since my participation in the 44-days Artsakh war. Learning from our mistakes and experiences, and not trusting or depending on other countries to come to our aid, along with like-minded friends we decided to take matters into our own hands. Shortly after the war the “National Legion” (Ազգային Լէգէոն) was set up to defend the homeland complementing the state army.
Our primary agenda is to prepare and train our brothers and sisters to be ready for any eventuality. We started this program with only twenty-five volunteers in the Massis region and today we have around one six-hundred-fifty trainees in eight different regions in the Republic of Armenia (RoA), including near-border areas. We have three groups of trainees, ages 13 to 18, 22 to 45 and veterans 45 to 62 years of age, of which 40 % are female.
Instructions include physical training, use of small arms, engineering, diversion tactics, survival endurance, first aid, use of communication equipment, use of reconnaissance drones and most importantly, patriotism classes. We train seven days a week including weekends. Our training is free of charge. The staff includes seven professionals, experienced instructors and our commander. We also supply all our trainees with camouflage suits and army boots; we provide the trainees with nutrition , transportation, as well as all ammunition needed during the training.
Since the start of this organization, we have purchased over seven hundred army camouflage suits, including winter raincoats, “white” snow camouflage coats, 200 army boots, 50 training imitation rifles and 50 target training shooting guns. We have received a generous donation from Canada which allowed us to secure a minibus to transport our students. We have also received binoculars and drones and other personal hardware as donations from different cities. We have had interviews with Armenian media around the world. As we grow, the “National Legion” is becoming a popular organization through invitations from different municipalities and governors around the country to organize training sessions.
The financial resources of the “National Legion” (Ազգային Լէգէոն) are limited. It is a not-for-profit organization and gets no financial support from the government of the Republic of Armenia whatsoever. Financially it strictly depends on the public’s support, such as you.
The monthly budget is $4000 USD to cover the cost for training six-hundred-fifty volunteers, renumeration to the trainers and instructors, and all other expenses such as gears, food and transportation. The “Legion” foresees doubling and even tripling its size in the coming years. Of course, this expansion depends on the financial situation. This is where you come in, as an Armenian citizen around the world to be able to continue this important mission. We need your support.
If we believe that we are on the right path and that we should have a strong citizens’ self-defence contingent next to our brave army equipped with 21st century (fifth generation) military technology to defend our ancestral lands, then as Armenians it is our duty to be part of the growth of the “National Legion.” More than ever, it is now that we must be ready. Let us extend our hands with generous donations. As a priority, let us set aside as little as $2 a day for this sacred project. Let us consider it a national tax for the safety and security of the homeland and its citizens. “If there is a will, there is a way”.
Regrettably only Canadian citizens and permanent residents will receive tax receipts. For instructions, please call or text at 514 889-8100 or drop a line to the email [email protected]; non-Canadians, including US residents will get official thank you letters from our organization. At present tax receipt facility is not set up for them. You may make a direct deposit to Azkain Legion account in RoA, “ACBA CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK” CJSC Massis branch.
For any additional information you can always connect through above mentioned contact means.
We appreciate your cooperation and generosity.