ANCA-WR To Honor Armenian U.S. Military Veterans At Annual Banquet

Army Lieutenant Adrineh Shahijanian-Gouloomian

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

GLENDALE-The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region
announced that it will honor several Armenian American U.S. military
veterans at the 2011 ANCA-WR Annual Banquet, which will take place
on Saturday, November 26 at the Universal Sheraton Hotel.

Among the veterans being honored are Marine Staff Sergeant Baleny
Minas, and Army Lieutenant Adrineh Shahijanian Gouloomian for their
selfless and honorable service in the Iraq Theater. Their efforts
on behalf of the U.S. military personify Hai Tahd: to advance the
Armenian Cause while remaining steadfast in their dedication to the
United States of America.

Marine Staff Sergeant Baleny Minas “Every year, Americans mark
Veterans’ Day to honor our military servicemen and servicewomen. It
is of special significance to honor them this year, on the tenth
anniversary of September 11, in recognition of the many sacrifices
they have made throughout their service in Afghanistan, Iraq and
other armed conflicts,” said ANCA-WR Board chairman Andrew Kzirian.

In 2001, Lt. Adrineh Shahijanian Gouloomian became the 34th female
Kiowa Warrior pilot in U.S. history. The Army only began allowing
women to fly combat aircraft in the early 1990s.

Gouloomian served as platoon leader of the Outlaw Troop of Fort
Carson’s Third Armored Cavalry Regiment, and was awarded the Army Air
Medal and the Bronze Star. By the end of her service, Gouloomian had
become an executive officer of some 500 soldiers and reconnaissance
helicopter pilots. She was medically discharged in 2004 after suffering
injuries when, to avoid RPG fire, she crash-landed her Kiowa Warrior.

Kiowa Warriors are low-flying combat helicopters, and piloting them
is dangerous because insurgents often target them for assault. While
women have flown helicopters in the U.S. Army for three decades,
it has been in transport helicopters. A Kiowa Warrior, on the other
hand, is primarily used for finding and destroying enemy tanks.

Adrineh Gouloomian and her husband, Ara, live in San Francisco and
are the parents of two children, Garen and Lucynne.

Marine Staff Sergeant Baleny Minas entered the Marine Corps in
February 2000. She served her first tour of duty in the Iraq Theater
from March 2004 to July 2004, and then was redeployed from February
2005 to October 2005.

Minas provided ground support and served as an equipment manager for
Bell AH-1 SuperCobra Helicopters and Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters,
known in military parlance as Hueys. After her return to the United
States, she finished her contract in the active reserves in 2007.

She was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, and meritoriously promoted
to corporal, sergeant and staff sergeant during her military career.

Minas completed her undergraduate education in Political Science with
a concentration in Middle East Politics from UCLA. She received a
Master’s degree in Public Administration from USC in 2006. Since 2008,
Minas has been working at Raytheon as the manufacturing operations
manager for F-15 and F-18 radar systems.

Tickets for the Annual Banquet are $200. Students with valid ID can
purchase discounted tickets.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the
largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy
organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination
with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the
Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country,
the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community
on a broad range of issues.

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