News Release

A Legacy of Service to Faith, Family and Country


Twenty years after the Kargil War, Indian Army veteran Muniswamy Arumugam says he is ready, if called, to lay it all on the line again for his country. The native of Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), Karnataka served in that conflict during his 26 years as an armored tank gunner in the 69th Armed Regiment.

If you ask, he will tell you that service to India runs in his blood. “My whole family served in the army,” he explains. “We devoted our lives to our nation. My grandfather served in the British Indian Army in China in World War I, and my father also fought in China in World War II. My brother served in the Indian Army in the 1971 War with Pakistan, and I served in the Kargil War in June and July 1999 in Kashmir. Today, my brother’s son is serving in the army.” 

After joining the military at the age of 18, Arumugam was stationed all over North India, from Rajasthan to Assam.  He was often posted on the borders of China, Pakistan and Bangladesh. “The training was so hard, but the service was so good,” he recalls. “I was happy to protect and defend my nation.” 

In time, Arumugam married. He and his wife Vetri Selvi have three daughters and a son. They are a tight knit family despite the many years that they were separated. “My family stayed in KGF, so I was far away from them,” he explains. “Every six months I came home for a one-month vacation.  It was a sacrifice, but it was not hard. You know, it’s not just me—my wife has also sacrificed for the country, along with my mother and grandmother.”

Arumugam retired from the army in 2001 and in 2004 joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints along with his entire family. Over the past 15 years, he has served in various leadership positions in the congregation in KGF, and two of his daughters have served missions for the Church. His older daughter Kausalya served in the Philippines and his youngest Deepika served on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  “I love the Church and the emphasis it puts on families,” he says. “It gives us many opportunities to grow close to one another as we serve.”

He looks forward to Independence Day each year. “We celebrate in our congregation in KGF by raising the flag, singing the national anthem, and distributing sweets. I especially love to hear the anthem. When I do, my blood becomes warm and I feel so proud.”

When asked if he would do it all again, he responds with feeling. “Yes, I would do it again. I am ready to go back if they need me.” 

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