President’s Letter

August 17, 2023

Dear fellow graduates, families, and friends of the West Point Society of Naples,

As we enjoy these last weeks of Summer and look forward to the seasonal changes of Fall, it is time to turn our attention to our West Point Society and what we hope to accomplish in the next year. In May under the guidance of the Board of Directors we established goals and approved a budget in line with the various aspects of our Society’s mission. We also welcomed four new Board members: Mike Zolidis ‘70, Mike Kostoff ‘79, Doug Whitehead ’85, and Libby Schott ‘91. Our talented team of board volunteers is eager to lead the Society forward. That is and always will be our focus. However, it is the engagement of our members in each event, campaign, or volunteer effort that determines the degree of our success. We need you to participate in the life of the Society for it to flourish. We do this work not only to celebrate lifelong friendships, the camaraderie of shared experiences and traditions, but to engage the next generation of officers in the US Army and encourage them in the myriad of challenges they will face in service to our nation. This is the Mission of our Society. This is what we work, volunteer, and contribute to build: the Long Grey Line of selfless servants who love God, family, this community, and the United States of America and are willing to dedicate themselves in service.

This season we will have the opportunity to assemble for two football watch parties (Air Force & Navy), will have a Fall and Spring Luncheon, the Annual Meeting, Founders Day, the interservice golf tournament, and the Hail & Farewell. In addition, we will be supporting Field Force efforts to attract the best candidates for USMA from SWFL, working with the high school JROTC units in both Collier and Lee counties and supporting our 30+ USMA cadets.

As I stated earlier, we need your involvement in these events and programs as attendees, and volunteers. We need your financial support as well. Our budget for the next year is $32,215. For many years more than half of our budget has come from the generosity of Board members. As a Society, it should be our intention to expand our membership and broaden our donor base. I sincerely hope that you decide that what we do as a Society is important enough to donate to the Society. I ask that in addition to maintaining your active membership you donate a minimum of $100 to help share the financial load in support of the Mission. Donating to the Society is as easy as clicking the red DONATE button on the top ribbon of our website or sending a check to our PO Box 111060, Naples, FL 34108. I trust I can count on you to help. Thank you to all our Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Level donors!

I am reminded of the inspiring story of Martin Treptow who left his small town in Wisconsin in 1917 and enlisted in the Rainbow Division. He was killed on the Western Front in 1918 and a diary was found on his body. In that diary was his Warrior’s Pledge which captured the spirit we as Americans have always been willing to embody and which must continue if we want to preserve the dignity and freedom of every individual American. Treptow’s pledge: “I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure. I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”

This is the pledge of every American hero. It is my hope that our Society can rely on the heroism of its members so that together we can continue to promote the mission and values of the USMA from our home here in SWFL. If you are willing to make that sacrifice, we cannot fail. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do.

I look forward to seeing and speaking with you this season. It is truly an honor to serve alongside such a wonderful group of people. Thank you! I wish you all the very best.



Christopher Y. Williams ‘87
President, West Point Society of Naples