JEL INEK JOURNAL
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BEAT NAVY ! Celebrating a Tradition and an American Rivalry
This December, my Army Black Knights fell to the Navy Midshipmen 31-7 in a classic football battle between the Army and Navy. It was the 120th meeting between the two U.S. military rivals, and despite the scoreboard at the end of the game, I had another great time watching these two teams battle it out on the gridiron. I hosted my annual Army versus Navy viewing party at my home. I had about 15–20 of my classmates and their spouses, along with a few “squid friends,” United States Naval Academy graduates, and a dozen or so other graduates from various West Point classes attend the party this year. Among these attendees were two graduates from my dad’s 1952 class. They come every year and seem to really enjoy themselves. I also know that many of the graduates from my class and beyond appreciate the dedication and camaraderie of these two men. Everyone makes it a point to talk to them. Every year, without fail, I receive a handwritten card from them thanking me for the invitation and telling me about the great time they had being once again surrounded by a brotherhood. Each word is written right from the heart, and I look forward to this gesture every year. Writing a letter is a lost art, and to receive these letters each year is a tremendous compliment. Altogether, 50 people attended our party, a low number compared to years when we typically have 75 guests. But with the short period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s difficult for many people to travel. Regardless of the outcome, every year is a labor of love. It usually takes a couple days for us to get the house and food ready, and we sometimes have guests from out of state who swing in for a few days beforehand. I’m always proud to host my classmates and fellow West Point alumni at my home. West Point students need a letter of recommendation from a congressman, congresswoman, or senator in their home state in order to attend, and because of this, there is a diverse group of classmates at West Point each year. Our classes have business owners, alumni who are retired generals, and others who went on to study at prestigious
universities. We are a unique group of people bound by one common thread: the camaraderie of serving our country.
There’s usually never a shortage of things to talk about, and I look forward to this party every year. The score may not have been what we Army guys would have hoped it would be, but our Navy buddies were graceful about it. I’m already excited about our 121st matchup in 2020 and connecting with these guys again.
And as always, beat Navy!
– H. Charles Jelinek, Jr., DDS
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