‘Survivor’ leads hero to trouble

The navy is to begin disciplinary procedures today against a frogman who was honored for his bravery by the United States but recently disappeared from his service, reportedly to take part in the Greek version of Survivor, a reality television show. The daily Eleftherotypia reported yesterday that Petty Officer Ilias Valassis, a member of the elite Underwater Destruction Unit, «is said to have set off for Ecuador,» where the show is being shot. «Officially, the navy does not know whether he is taking part in the game. The fact is that he took 15 days leave for a trip abroad, the leave ended two weeks ago and the frogman has not returned nor has he been in touch with his unit,» the report said. «Tomorrow the disciplinary proceedings against him will begin as he will have been absent without order of leave for 15 days,» it said. On Dec. 13, the commander of the 5th US Fleet, Admiral John Kelly, honored Valassis with a citation for bravery. Valassis was off duty on Dec. 6 when he leapt off the helipad of the Greek frigate Adrias to save a US sailor who had fallen off the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln off Bahrain.