It was a black day, a truly black… the day that Stavros left the organization. Who said so? George Edward Hand IV said so. Let me tell you about the relationship that Stavros and I shared coming up together in SOFREP. We originally were just pen-pushing slobs cranking out content for the org. I recognized the quality of his work and contacted him directly to offer my praise; a thing well-received by an honorable man.
When I was fired and SOFREP migrated to the untimely and dubious NewsRep format, it took an understandable dive into disarray. After a few months, Stavros, in spite of powerful discouragement from key former SOFREP personalities, stepped up to take on the job of Managing Editor. One of his first official acts was to hire me back on. What was the meaning of this madness — me of all people?
What all of you don’t know is that Stavros was not allowed the budget to hire me back on, and chose to pay me for my writing out of his own paycheck. Does that ring true? It should; it did with me. I pushed back hard but he would not relent:
“Stavros… I can’t subscribe to the fact that you are paying out of your own pocket to keep me on board.”
“No, I need you here, Geo… together we can bring SOFREP back to what it once was!”
At some point, I agreed to continue to write for Stavros, not for the money but for Stavros the man. It was one of those times that I agreed to bolster the noble brother and understood that there was no way I could turn my back once I agreed to help. The money, in my mind, disappeared and it became all about the promise to a friend. No matter how much it sucked, I had to carry out the promise or I was nobody.
The thing that really twisted my head around about Stavros was his resolve to take on an extreme underdog position in spite of the negative “support” he was getting from former SOFREP players. I was clear that I really (REALLY) despised the negativity that was being dumped on him, and that I admired the bejesus out of his will to take the helm of a sinking ship.
I simply cannot convey to you what it means to me in this day and age to see a man advance under his own accord, force-march into the face of great odds, and excel! It is the stuff of a true king of men. I was there and I saw him do this thing. It is such a small demonstration in the grand scheme of things, yet I was there and I witnessed it… therefore it was grandiose in all aspects.
Stavros was successful and turned NewsRep around, even changing the name back to SOFREP, an event that for many months I was longing for. Stavros is the stuff of kings, not just because he promoted me, but because he is a man who begs for responsibility — a thing that most men run from today. He is a man of magnificent character, a human quality that compelled me to leave the Green Berets of my era and to seek it out in the Delta Force. There I found it: younger men than me who were not afraid of responsibility and migrated toward it at every opportunity.
I’m sad today. I’m sad that I will no longer have my friend at my side. He’ll be off to prosper. I’ll be there to assist him at every juncture, though I venture those will be few. The man is not needy and holds his own all the time. I’ll think of him often, always with great pride and confidence.
Mad love for you Stavros, my brother. Be well always, dammit.
By almighty God and with honor,