Andreas Holevas: The American-born Greek Presidential Guard

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Born and raised in Pennsylvania, 28-year-old Andreas Holevas obtained a Greek passport to serve in the Greek Army and in particular in the Presidential Guard, “like his grandfather.”

The expatriate Holevas has been a member of the Presidential Guard, known as the Evzones, for about five months (since February) and his joy and pride are indescribable.

“It was my dream,” the 28-year-old told Ethnikos Kirikas.

In fact, at the moment, Holevas is the only expatriate serving in the Presidential Guard.

A child of Greek immigrants who came to the United States in the 1960s in search of a better fortune than Greece could give them at the time, Andreas was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1992. He is the second child in the family and has an older brother.

But Greece was and is deeply rooted in the family, and the photograph of his grandfather, Georgios Holevas, who was a benefactor in the ‘Royal Guard’ in 1937, moved him.

“I wanted to be as prosperous as my grandfather. So last year I did all the procedures to become a Greek on paper, I got a Greek passport and in January 2020 I presented myself to the Greek army. After I swore in, “I managed to make my dream come true and join the Presidential Guard,” said Holevas in fluent Greek, which he learned not only by talking to his family members but also by attending the Greek school at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

All this time, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Andreas’s family could not go to Athens to boast about him up close. They only saw the photos he sent.

Now, his father is in Athens, who managed to be close to his son by using his Greek passport.

“There is great emotion and pride,” said Athanasios Holevas. Born in Messolonghi in 1950, originally from Neochori in mountainous Nafpaktia, Athanasios Holevas immigrated to the United States in 1967.

“I was looking forward to coming. I used the Greek passport because only with that I could travel due to the restrictions that exist due to the coronavirus. I really wanted to see him up close. It was his dream and we are all happy that he made it happen,” he added.

His mother, who hails from Mataraga, Etoloakarnania, could not come this time to see her son up close.

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Paul Antonopoulos

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