97-year old Greek shipowner and World War II veteran, Iakovos Tsounis, has donated his entire fortune to the Greek armed forces.
Tsounis, who stated that he wants to leave life as he began it- barefoot, donated €23 million for the defense of the country and €60 million for landing craft.
“The most important thing for me is the patriot. Not the one who has money, not the one who has honours! Without a homeland, neither wealth, nor glory, nor joys exist,” he said.
Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis thanked Tsounis, calling him “a loyal, consistent contributor of the Greek Armed Forces throughout his life.”
The youngest volunteer WWII veteran “has astounded us by his move to donate his entire fortune to the Armed Forces while still alive, and gives us optimism at a time where the greater region of the Mediterranean is seeing a lot of turbulence,” said member of the Hellenic Parliament, Christos Boukoros.
At the ager of 16, Tsounis fought on the Albanian front. “I fought, I know Albania well. And when four or five months had passed, the then commander of the headquarters found me dead. That is, from the 65-70 kilos I went I had 29 kilos left. And they brought me back,” he recalled.
From that day on, he worked hard and has frequently donated his wealth to the armed forces.
He started as a customs officer in Piraeus. In 1966 he entered the shipping industry as a shipowner, acquiring a total of 13 merchant ships and formed a large fortune over time.
He has received important honours for his philanthropic work.