One of the places that played a big part in my childhood growing up in the Hudson Valley was the United States Military Academy at West Point. My dad was a West Point Graduate, Class of 1961. He also was stationed there when I was small so I had the honor of calling West Point home for a few years.

Growing up I had friends that attended West Point and as a resident of the Hudson Valley I take every opportunity to visit the grounds, the monuments and of course Eisenhower Hall for shows and concerts. And nothing beats their outdoor summer concert series. It is one of my favorite parts of Hudson Valley summer holiday weekends.

Because of my attachment to West Point I follow them on social media and that's how I came across the story of Colonel Raymond Renola, a retired member of the Class of 1940. The story that the West Point Association of Graduates shared on Facebook last week was so great I had to re-share it. It turns out that Retired Colonel Renola is the oldest living graduate from West Point. Colonel Renola celebrated his 104th birthday last week.

According to the Facebook post he received cards from the West Point Society of Washington DC and celebrated with cake. Last year, for his birthday his family along with the West Point Society of Washington DC arranged for him to receive a replacement for his West Point class ring that he had lost swimming. The family knew the ring meant a lot to Colonel Renola and they were able to track down the original mold at a jeweler in Pennsylvania and had a new one made. They also celebrated with the West Point Club singing a few songs.

West Point Association of Graduates ring via Facebook
Richard L French / West Point Association of Graduates ring via Facebook

LOOK: 100 years of American military history

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