It seems that the state does not want to honor its heroes that die in Chechnya
The Budyonnovsky garrison consists of the 205th rifle group, two air regiments and several other military units. This garrison is a belligerent one. There has not been peace in the republic of Chechnya for almost ten years now. About 400 people were lost in only one brigade of the garrison over this period of time. A lot of military men from the air regiment were killed too. A lot of soldiers and officers were decorated for their deeds. Townspeople like to look at marching officers at traditional military parades: they like to see them wearing their Hero Stars and other decorations. If it were possible to put all decorated officers of the Budyonnovsky garrison in one line, they would look very impressive. Unfortunately, it will never be possible to do that, for a lot of military men were awarded with Russian Hero Stars posthumously.
Aleksey Morokhovets from the settlement of Praskovei is one of those military men. He was killed in Chechnya in 1999. It was his mother Lydia, who had to receive her son’s Golden Star of the Russian Hero. It happened on Victory Day, May 9th, at the central square of the town. Lydia has hardly ever seen so many people on the square after her son’s funeral ceremony. Generals from the Northern Caucasus military headquarters came to award Russian soldiers. The people present at the ceremony were surprised about the courage of a village woman, who had lost her husband six months before she lost her son. She had only one thing left in her life – her younger son Sergey. Senior officials promised to take an active participation in his fate. Lydia believed that, when she was standing around those generals. She could hardly hold back her tears, when she was listening to all those words of compassion. Could she suppose at that moment that the majority of those words were nothing else but just words that would be forgotten in a second?
However, it is worth mentioning here that the townspeople honor and remember the deed of their town-fellow. There is a school named after Aleksey Morokhovets in the town. There is a sign in his memory in the town’s park too. Alexander Vlaschenko, the head of the town’s administration tries to obtain a permission to put up the Russian Hero’s bust in the town. Praskovei residents collect various items that are connected with Aleksey Morokhovets’s life – they want to open a museum in his honor. The town’s authorities are going to rename one of Praskovei’s streets in Aleksey’s honor as well.
Sergey Morokhovets, Aleksey’s brother, made up his mind to become a military man as well. When he finished secondary school, he went to enroll Russia’s Suvorov Military School. His mother traveled with him – she was inspired with generals’ words, for they promised her that her boy would enroll the Suvorov School without any problems. As it turned out, it was not that simple.
When she returned home, she told her sad story to the head of the town’s administration. Lydia said that she had to deal with total indifference: nobody wanted to help her son, someone messed something up, or forgot to do something. Sergey’s dream remained just a dream. Most of all, Lydia was struck with people’s attitude. She said that she had to hear things like “You are a Russian Hero’s mother? So what?”
For the time being, Lydia Morokhovets has to deal with new problems and troubles. Sergey is about to finish school and he is strongly determined to enroll a military school afterwards. Does he have any chances? As a matter of fact, it is a very big problem for a Russian young man to become a student of the Suvorov Military School. The competition is too big: 46 people per only one vacancy. Military commissar, Colonel Sergey Tkachev assured that he would do his best to help Sergey Morokhovets to become a student. This would be a very good example for other young recruits, for Sergey has a right not to serve in the army. However, he has a great wish to serve. Lydia’s only helper is the head of the Praskovei administration Alexander Vlaschenko. He does everything possible to help the Russian Hero’s mother. He contacts other officials, meets them in their offices in order to help the woman. It is very important for her to realize that the state remembers her son’s deed.
Will Sergey become a student of the military school? It does not depend on him only. There is lots of bribery in such prestigious schools, so Lydia decided to sell their car in order to have some money. However, Alexander Vlaschenko convinced her not to do that, for one can not buy a vacancy at a military school for Russian Hero’s brother. This would be a great disgrace to his memory. It is absolutely correct. A lot of mothers, who lost one son, do not want the other one to wear military uniform. Lydia Morokhovets blessed Sergey’s decision. Let’s hope that she will not hear these words again: “Are you a Russian Hero's mother? So what?”
Sergey Rybalchenko Stavropol Pravda
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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