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In December 2014, after an almost three-year break, I again stood in front of the gates of my native home in the city of Povorino, Voronezh Region, where I spent the first year of my life and spent the summer holidays as a schoolboy. Three women were waiting for me at once in this house - my mother, Valentina Ivanovna, my grandmother Shura and my sister Tatyana.

But with special excitement I was preparing to meet my grandfather, Evtushenko Ivan Mikhailovich, a veteran of World War II, who went to the front in August 1942, when he was only 18 years old. I really loved my grandfather and grandmother, I always remembered them, but now I remember them almost daily, especially since almost every day there is no, no, and there will be a reason. For example, when on February 23, my dear ladies congratulated me, practically the only man in the office, on Defender of the Fatherland Day, I unearthed my archive photo on Facebook and “hung” it on Facebook. I am almost 19 in the picture - exactly as much as my grandfather was when he went to his last battle. As it was later written on the award sheet, in October 1943, as part of the 65th Army of the 2nd Belorussian Front, at the very height of the battle for the Dnieper, the 19-year-old commander of a 45 mm gun in an offensive battle received an explosive bullet in his lower leg, almost six months spent in the hospital and was advised for health reasons.

I just recently learned that for the battle in which my grandfather was seriously wounded, he was presented to the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree. He spoke little of the war and almost never spoke of any rewards. Even my mother was sure that he did not have front-line awards, only anniversary ones. But when I was almost 30 years old, in one of the stories my grandfather mentioned that he was awarded the medal “For Military Merit”, and a year ago I found confirmation in the materials of one of the military archives, and my mother found the medal itself, which is carefully kept grandfather in a bag with documents.

In May of this year we will celebrate a round date - the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. So many years have passed, but from this the historical importance of the event only grows, as does our responsibility to preserve the memory of those who fought or worked in the rear in wartime. Actually, I am writing these lines in order to take this opportunity to report - this year, like many years before that, on May 9 we will come together again to honor the memory of our heroes. And I urge everyone to take part in the preparation and conduct of the gala evening.

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Sergey Tokarev

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