Greek Balkan War Effort
When Greece declared war on the Ottoman Empire in early October 1912, all male subjects of the Kingdom of Greece of military age were called to the colors. This included Greek subjects who had immigrated to the U.S. (and elsewhere), but who had not yet become naturalized citizens. Those who had served in the Greek military from 1896 to 1911 and were Greek reservists were obliged to serve. But tens of thousands of others living and working in the U.S. -- either as Greek subjects or as naturalized U.S. citizens -- answered the call of the motherland and returned to Greece to fight as volunteers in the Greek army. As many as one-third of all the men in the Greek Army during the Balkan Wars (estimated at 57,000 by the Greek Ministry of Defense) were Americanized Greeks.
|Spiros Toumasatos Livadas (1913)|
Spiro was tall and sturdy. He was essentially a father to my father, whose own father died when Dad was twelve. I can’t say for my siblings Gerry and Barbara, but to me “Uncle Spiro” was like a kindly grandfather.
I don't know when Spiro originally came to the U.S. But by 1912, he was established in Gloversville, N.Y., at the "Candyland," his cousin's thriving ice cream parlor business.
My respected Mother,Up to this hour I am well. Twenty-two days have passed to date since the [Second Balkan] war started. Up until today we engaged the enemy whenever we meet him. Yesterday we had a battle all day and engaged the enemy many hours but came out well.If in this war I am killed don’t feel bad because I considered it my holy duty to fight for faith and country. Life is nothing since we are to die at one time or another – whether young or old. In any event I am letting you know that I have in the bank in Albany NY (in English it is the Nat’l Savings Bank of the City of Albany NY; 72 State St.) the number of the bank book is 76076. I have deposited in this bank [$]574.32. This book I have left in the Ionian Bank in Argostoli, together with a letter. I have given right to the Ionian Bank after 1½ years to draw this money from the Amer. Bank., i.e. in 1914 about June or July, I believe, in the letter that I have sent to the Ionian Bank together with the book, I have directed that this money be placed in the bank and the interest thereof be taken by my mother as long as she lives. Following this, these monies shall be my brother’s, Dionysios. I have also in this same bank, as you know and you have the (omologies, sum?), the one sum being 1240 drachmas and the other 3077, the sums of these and the interest thereof to be my mother’s and after her, to Dionysios. These are the things I have to tell you. Nicola, son of Efthemios Kouloumbis owes me 200ºº and Nicola Golopavlou (?) 60 drachmas which I gave him in the village and in Athens. This is what I had to tell you. Having no more orders to give you, I leave you and kiss for me Kalomyra, Tassia, Basiliki, her children, Grigori, (Anan?) Zisimos and his children, Kardakates, Gerasimos and his children, Dionysi and N. Barkio, Vangelli and his children and all the relatives.I kiss you, kiss you, my mother, your son,Spiros G. ToumasatosBrother Dionysi I kiss you; if I am killed please try and not let our mother suffer. I urge you indeed as you marry and our family enlarges to stand by and help our uncle, Stavros as much as you can because he offered us filial services. Having nothing else to say, I kiss you sweetly. Your brother,Spiros ToumasatosUncle Stavro,I recognize the filial obligations which you rendered us. Life has not allowed me to do my duty toward you. Be patient and I pray to God that he spare your son, Dennis, to care for you, and throw a stone at the past. I greet all the relatives. Having no more to say, I kiss you –Your nephew – Spiros Toumasatos11 July 1913 – At this moment we are near the Bulgarian-Turkish border.Spiros
|Dionysios Toumasatos Livadas (1914)|