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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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    Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Saco, Maine, USA 10-12 July 2009

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    The Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki is located on the Turkish island known as Heyelbiada in the Bosporus straits. It was closed in 1971 by the Turkish government and is the subject of much controversy since it is the only seminary in Turkey and the position of Ecumenical Patriarch can only be filled by a Turkish citizen. Sign the petition to reopen it at

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28 February 2009




Isn't R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket more accurate? From my friends who have served in the corp, I think that is the case.



It all depends on when you went through your training, who your drill instructors were and even where you you trained, Parris Island, San Diego or Quantico. Ermey was a drill instructor and his portrayal although fairly accurate is tinged by Kubrick's anti-war message.

I was a series commander at Parris Island during 79-81 and I can tell you that some drill instructors are better than others at what they do. Webb's portrayal is what all DIs aspire to.



Great story! I never cease to be amazed by those who actually volunteer to go through what you did go through in order to become a US Marine. Over the years, I've met many soldiers, both ersatz and real ones, and I can remember only a handful. Those I do remember were all men of few words and determined deeds. Beware of the man in uniform with a torrent of stories to tell! I look forward to reading more posts like this inspired by your Sea Stories!


The older one gets, the more stories he has to tell. The beauty of blogging is that one can tell some of them, whether or not anyone pays attention to them. Thanks for being patient enough to read this one. Blogging is good therapy, an opportunity to relive the past and understand its meaning. One step closer to Ithaka.



It is always nice to hear life stories from people. So much can be learned from them in addition to the better understanding about the person. Believe it or not, some of the political views you express make perfect sense based upon the life experiences you've shared with your blog.

Keep them coming adelphe!

Kevin McEvily

Dear Stavros:
It’s always a pleasure to read your posts. You know that I especially enjoy reading about your family – including your fellow Marines.
To be a party to an enterprise in which all the participants seem to have an unlimited supply of courage and enthusiasm to match the energy of their youth is a very special experience. Add to that a singular nobleness of purpose and you have the explanation for so many enduring so much for just the chance to be a part of it. Your writing makes me wistful for another time and envious of those who get the chance to answer the present call.
You could keep your readers entertained for years with your sea stories, Stavros. Perhaps sometime they will be treated to the tale of the besotted miscreants who tried to use an M60 tank to compact your already sub-compact vehicle at Camp Hansen, Okinawa. I guess that’s another thing about youthful courage and enthusiasm – there’s always a need for leadership.
By the way, there was an interesting article in the Washington Post today about the sources of that current leadership. You can read it here:
How’s the snow up your way?
Semper fi,


Kevin my good friend,

It's always a pleasure to hear from you and know that you still read my humble musings. Our days in the Corps were indeed filled with the energy and enthusiasm of youth. It's hard to read about another generation that answers the call while we sit idly by however, we can be assured that as long as Marines go in harm's way there will always be a few good men (even some besotted miscreants) who will join them.

As for sea stories, they interest only those of us that experienced them. The less said the better.

The snow is an ever present reminder that spring is still a long way off.

Semper Fi,


maria v

i've been told by many people that the irish and the greeks share many characteristics, never mind being subjugated by more powerful neighbours (but the weather is admittedly better in greece than it is in ireland!)

thanks for the chicken soup recipe, you seemed to realise exactly what was on my mind (rabbit stew for a pneumonia sufferer? what was on his mind?!)


I'm envious that he was able to take on such an ambitious project in the kitchen of all places, foreign territory for most Greek men.

I grew up (until the age of 12) in an Irish Catholic neighborhood.

Get well soon.


I was cleaning up a terrible mess I made this morning (trying to fill my little oil cruet from the leaky gallon jug of Greek olive oil in the pantry..before morning coffee...not a good idea) and I thought I'd stop into the blog for a better Greek experience. Enjoyable as always! Hope you have subscribed to Hillsdale's Imprimis, I would LOVE to be a student there for these next 4 years. Here's what we've been up to:


Hi Meg,

Great Blog and I especially like your recipe for Turkish Delight, a personal favorite. Can't believe the kids have grown so much. I assure you I am still reading Imprimis, especially in these daunting times. Will write soon.

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  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy


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