Faces of Courage, The
Armenian World War II, Korea, and Vietnam Heroes

(ISBN: 0-9622945-2-7)
2003 Moraga
656 pages
Size: 6 1/4" x 9 1/4"
Language(s): English

A book offering new insights into the war experience as seen by Armenian-Americans has been published, featuring 48 military histories and enough war stories to last for generations. The Faces of Courage took more than five years to write, sending author Richard Demirjian throughout the US and Canada tracking down veterans for their wartime accounts. "What do all these stories have in common? They’re about Armenians who fought in combat and came home with extraordinary tales of survival," Demirjian said in an interview from his Moraga, California home. Documenting those tales was an extraordinary effort in itself. Demirjian tape-recorded hours of interviews with veterans, after which researcher Art Sarkisian of Concord, California transcribed them with voice-recognition software. "Armenians are great storytellers," Sarkisian observed, "and this book reflects the great storytelling and character of Armenians. We’re really a tough people." "Almost all of the veterans in the book, their parents or grandparents were slaughtered by the Turks and they came to America to serve the country they loved." The book features accounts of Armenian men and women who served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater, Foreign Military Service, Korea, and Vietnam. Many readers of Moorad Mooradian’s columns in the Diasporan press will learn that he is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who served three decades of active duty. "There are over 30 Armenian-American names listed on the black granite wall in Washington, DC," he writes in the book’s preface. "The service that Armenian-Americans have rendered is no better stated than by the West Point motto: Duty-Honor-Country." Joseph Vosbikian, another familiar name in the Armenian community, describes in the book how he survived the Battle of the Bulge. "When I finally got home from WWII on January 21, 1946," he recounts, "I told my wife, ‘every day I live from now on is a bonus."" During those years, George Mardikian of San Francisco offered a free meal at his Omar Khayyam’s restaurant to anyone who had served in World War II. "He was famous for that," Demirjian recalled, adding that "he’d always bring out extra goodies for Armenian servicemen." The book, which is available through mail order, is priced to recover production costs, according to Demirjian, a World War II veteran. "I’m not in it for the money. I’m doing this strictly for history.

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