Today is 24 April 2015. It may be another day for most of you, but it is an important day for a country known as Armenia. 100 years ago today, this country was attacked by another known as Turkey, which was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. They caused the deaths of 1.5 million of Armenia’s citizens through slave labor and torturous deportation through “death marches”. To this very day, Turkey’s government denies that this event qualifies as genocide, even in the face of mounting evidence.
The men of the 5th Psychological Operations Group stand with the people of Armenia and their relatives worldwide. We know war, and will not let atrocities such as your 1915 genocide occur in our nation or to the neurodivergent peoples. In fact, we are training and deploying every minute of the day so our people will not perish from the earth. We are more than a defense force for ASD United, we are an overall defense force for neurodivergents everywhere (the autism community). There exist a large number of people who want nothing less than our destruction, to watch us sink to the bottom of the sea. These people knowingly assault us without guilt or remorse, and cannot be trusted in any way, shape, or form.
Today, we will be interviewing Tom Melkonyan, one of the Airborne Special Forces’ original operators. He is an Armenian man who has far-reaching concern for the recognition of the Armenian genocide and will do “everything in his power” to ensure people recognize what has occurred. We have laid out a series of questions for him pertaining to him and his efforts to get this recognition across. The interview will be conducted by Captain Bandolero, our unit’s S-5 (Civil Relations Officer).
[Amateur artist’s rendition of Major Thomas A. Melkonyan]
Bandolero: Were you born in Armenia?
Melkonyan: Of course, Sir. I was born in a small village known as Vanashen. It’s near Mount Ararat and has about 2,000 people living there. My parents, Harut and Anoush, moved to the United States when I was only 4 or 5, I don’t remember. We settled in Twentynine Palms and I basically grew up there.
Bandolero: Do you have family living in Armenia?
Melkonyan: I definitely do. My uncle Artashes lives in Gavar, which is near Sevan, the country’s only lake. He is married to a woman named Haroush and they have two boys named Vartan and Razmik.
Bandolero: How does the Armenian genocide affect you and your life?
Melkonyan: It greatly hurts me mentally, especially from the fact that it happened to my people. The Holocaust was bad enough, but when I saw a documentary about that happening to my people [Armenians] was enough to sicken me deeply. I will not rest until those who perished receive the justice they deserve!
Bandolero: If the War of Independence never happened, and ASD United never came to be, what would you do with your life?
Melkonyan: I would probably either start a business in real estate or cars, or join the U.S. Marine Corps. I might have joined the U.S. Marines because of the Twentynine Palms base and the GI Bill for college and all that, and from there I would’ve used a business degree to start something else.
Bandolero: What inspired you to join the Airborne Special Forces? Is it connected to your desire to overcome the challenges of your ancestors?
Melkonyan: To be honest, I was somewhat conscripted into the Airborne Special Forces. It all began when I got a body count of about 510, which impressed the newly formed ASDU Army. They offered me a spot in the nation’s first special operations unit, which they pleaded a need for the most experienced sharpshooters. I spent about 2-4 weeks at a selection course and surprisingly became the honor graduate. Then it was about a year or so of tactical training. Before you know it, I was given a battlefield promotion to lieutenant.
Bandolero: How did you get promoted to an Officer?
Melkonyan: I’m not sure, it probably came with the honor graduate decoration. I did find an online college program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Kinesiology. It only took about three years because I committed to it with all my liberty time. Divergence University had the best programs for both.
Bandolero: What would you say to other Armenian people you meet?
Melkonyan: First off: Hye Em Yes. That is a symbol of pride and devotion to my people. And secondly, I would uplift them to do amazing things and not end up shallow like a family that basically embarrasses me deep down. That would be the Kardashians.
Bandolero: What made you immigrate to ASDU?
Melkonyan: It all began in 1995 when my father Harut found out he has a very mild form of Asperger’s disorder. He wanted to assist the colonists on the former Isle of Lateef in the fight for statehood. I was 18 at the time and wanted to go to college either at Arizona State, Texas A&M, or UC Berkeley. But since my father was serious about his people and his liberty, I changed my mind and went with him to fight for the country we have today. I DO NOT regret that decision at all, I actually consider it the best decision of my entire life.
Bandolero: What are your plans for the future?
Melkonyan: I have retired from the army due to a sudden influx of psychological trauma. Unfortunately, my years of combat have worn out my mental strength and I therefore need to find another employer. Yes, it is mild Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but it’s not serious, just a “jolt” in the head. But I will of course improve and find other ventures that the State of ASD United has to offer.
Major Melknonyan then ended with a closing statement:
Մարդկությունը, որպես ամբողջություն, պետք է ապրել ահաբեկչության իր ինքնապաշտպանության. Փոխարենը մենք պետք է գան միասին, եւ ճանաչել միմյանց ինքնիշխանությունն ու եզակիությունը, եթե մենք կարող ենք երբեւէ բարելավել այս աշխարհը.
“Mankind as a whole must not live in terror of its own self. Instead we should come together and recognize each other’s sovereignty and uniqueness if we can ever improve this world.”