2008-11-06 / Letters to the Editor

A fond good-bye to Jamestown

As the Howard family wraps up our year at the Naval War College, I wanted to write a quick note to the Jamestown Community to express my appreciation for your help and warm welcome. Additionally, I would like to recognize some of the amazing events and programs offered on the island. I will also thank the many special friends we have made during our stay here.

When a military family moves into a new neighborhood, it is sometimes difficult to acclimate to the surrounding community. Moving here from Hawaii, my family was concerned about surviving a Rhode Island winter and making new friends. The weather, I have to admit, was a challenge to overcome but otherwise we received a very warm welcome. The first organization we became involved with was the Jamestown Cub Scouts. The Pratt family and the Cub Scouts provided my son valuable lessons for becoming a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.

The military service could use leaders like Bill Pratt. But, the beauty of Jamestown is that he is not alone. Bill Piva leads an inclusive, well-organized youth basketball program that enables the Jamestown kids to flourish. Steve Cirella does the same for the Cal Ripken baseball league in Jamestown. The Saint Mark Catholic Church has also welcomed us with open arms. Father O'Neill and Karen Montoya went out of their way to provide an environment where our faith could continue to grow. Chris Perrotti, the Catholic League girls' basketball coach, also ensured my daughter had the opportunity to expand her basketball skills.

Jamestown was the Howard family's sixth move, and I have traveled to every continent on the planet and I can tell you that Jamestown is an incredible place. I have never seen such dedication and service to the community as I have here in Jamestown. Where else does a community provide safe and fun Halloween entertainment like the Jamestown Fire Department's bubble mania? I know my kids will talk about that experience for years!

Jamestown has great service organizations like the Lion's Club and amazing ceremonies and events like Veterans Day, the Fourth of July fireworks and the unforgettable Fools Rules' Regatta.

Family is clearly an important aspect of Jamestown which makes this place so very special. It seemed like there were always family-oriented activities such as the skate competition at the skate park, open recreation at the Teen Center or the baseball season's opening day parade. The Howards were never at a loss for things to do.

During our time here we have had the opportunity to meet many life-long friends, some of whom are in the military, but others are long-time Jamestown residents. We feel fortunate that we have met the Bailey, Downing and Podunajec military families. We also cherish our new Jamestown friends such as Fern and Don, the Cub Scouts as well as the Andres, Gaudreau, Gregory, McGuire, and Moffet families. My son will especially miss Colin Moffet and my daughter is attempting to abduct Aryan Burns so that she won't have to say good-bye.

In conclusion, as we prepare to move to our next assignment, I would like to thank everyone for their warm hospitality. Jamestown has been our favorite assignment so far (over Hawaii!) and I will highly recommend living here to all my fellow service members assigned to the Naval War College. Best wishes…

John O. Howard

Jamestown

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