2006-06-22 / Letters to the Editor

Tribute to the Naval War College students

Bravo for the beautiful "Thanks for the memories" letter that LCOL Penny Heiniger, USAF, recent graduate of the Naval War College, wrote in the June 15 edition of the Jamestown Press in which she so eloquently described her family's many wonderful experiences this past year while living in Jamestown.

During the past year, Jamestown has been blessed with the vibrant presence of a handful of war college students like Penny Heiniger, and their respective families, who were very active participants in all aspects of our community life, including our churches, our schools, our sports and recreational programs, our markets, our shops, our restaurants, etc. Penny and the other war college students and their families are a special group of people. Typically, these students are mid-level or senior-level career military officers from our various armed services, as well as international students from our allied friends.

They enrich all of our lives by bringing character, patriotism, and a diversity of culture, experiences, and achievements from all over the world to our small community. While students, they undergo a rigorous academic year studying the history, the strategy, the tactics, the politics, and the ethics of modern warfare, including a strong emphasis on "joint" (i.e., multi-service) warfare, as well as defense economics and decision-making. I know a little bit about the rigors of Penny's academic year because I too had the wonderful opportunity, albeit some 30 years ago, to be a student at that beautiful facility across the Newport Bridge that is so steeped with the proud traditions of our naval forefathers.

I am deeply privileged and honored to live in such a beautiful, enlightened island community by the seashore, a community that to many of us, including our Naval War College friends, is considered to be a slice of Heaven on Earth. I am also most grateful that our community provides such a warm welcome to the war college students and their families, and that we are thoughtful enough to acknowledge and pay tribute to their presence among us throughout the year.

My grateful thanks go to both Penny Heiniger and her family, who have so enriched our lives.

John G. Shannon,


Return to top