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John F. Grisoni, Jr

Company:

H-1

Date of Birth:

April 13, 1936

Spouse:

Teri

Married On:

1990

Children:

Colleen b. 1960
Carol b. 1962
John b. 1966
Janet b. 1967

Grandchildren:

Aidan b. 1998

Cole b. 2000

Michael b. 2003

Address:

126 Starr Place Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Phone:

(201) 444-0189

E-mail:

jntgris@aol.com

Vita:

I was born in Hoboken, NJ April 1936. Graduated from St. Michael's HS in Union City, NJ in June 1954. Upon graduation, I enlisted in the Air Force. I entered WP via the Air Force after two failed attempts. I was stationed at Rhein Main Air Base in Frankfurt during the summer of 1956 when I was informed by my CO that the Army was conducting a board of review to interview enlisted men interested attending USMA. The interview resulted in my being accepted to the USMA Prep School (then at Stewart AFB). My old AF outfit gave me a party and sent me on my way to join the prep school in August 1956.

 My bunkmate for the year was J.B. Taylor (MG ret). I spent the academic year of 1956-1957 with the greatest bunch of men that I ever met. I successfully made it through USMAPS and was admitted to WP on 2 July 1957. I was in H-1, and my Plebe roommates were Mike Xenos (also USMAPS) and Bob Janoska.

Unfortunately, the Math Department and I did not see eye-to-eye, and I was found in Plebe year. I was afforded the opportunity to take a retake exam to join the class of 1962, but by that time I was almost 23 years old and my heart was not in it for some reason which I still question. Perhaps I felt that I never was going to get through the academics.

Not having tried harder was the biggest regret of my life. But I know that God has a plan for us, and if he allowed me to graduate I believe that I would have screwed up in VN and took a platoon with me. He let me have WP for a little while because He knew that it was to be an important part of my life. I took my GI Bill and went on to graduate Saint Peter's College in Jersey City.

I married Kathleen Kennedy who I knew while a cadet. We had three children, two girls and a boy. Kathleen died in 1991.

My degree in Economics from St. Peter's took me from Bankers Trust Company through Merrill Lynch and then on to Xerox Corp. where I retired in 1992 as a senior sales executive covering national accounts. I started and sold a little business before finally retiring in 2002.

Right now I do some part time substitute teaching for multiple handicapped children and adults in Bergen County, NJ. I live in Wyckoff, NJ.

I am active with the Class of 1961, attending reunions and regional get-togethers. I keep in touch with many of the old USMAPS guys and even helped organize our 50th USMAPS reunion in May 2007. I have also been involved with the 45th Class of 61 reunion as you know.

I am the activities chairman and a director or the West Point Society of the Mid Hudson Region. I am active in the Admissions Field Force here in NJ as a Military Academy Liaison Officer (MALO).

In short I try to help West Point as best I can because the fine institution has given me direction and has kept me grounded all of my life. I consider WP my true Alma Mater as I know that you do also.

Some of my current and old WP friends are Bruce Shroyer, Chuck Hodell, John Kilkenny, John Purdy, Ed Brown, John Lawton, Joe Maio, Jim Taylor, Larry Stoneham, Dale Hines. Some of us get together once in a while and do some skeet, trap, and sporting clays shooting. Several of us support the cadet skeet and trap club.

I am married to a wonderful woman, Teri, who also shares my love of WP. Together we participate in many WP "family" activities which involve cadets and WP society activities.

I have a traditional cadet portrait in the archives, but I didn't graduate so I think it is more appropriate to use a photo of me at the Army/Navy game a couple of years ago.

I am still involved as a teacher of the handicapped, teaching teens and adults according to their abilities. At this point I just work at a few select venues where I know that I am needed. I enjoy working and getting up and out; it keeps me feeling as though I'm still "in the loop". I enjoy spending my final years with my wife, Teri, who loves West Point as much as I.

Reaching out to help others keeps me mindful of what was instilled in me at both West Point and by the Jesuits at St. Peter's University.  I always try to reflect the values of my two wonderful Alma Maters. I'm still on the board of directors of the West Point Society of the Mid-Hudson Region at West Point as the activities guy. I have been made the Congressional District Coordinator for USMA Admissions in the 5th Congressional District of NJ, one of the most competitive districts in the nation for service academy candidates. In that capacity, I have the privilege of leading a great team of fellow volunteers consisting of old grads and parents of current and graduated cadets. We have brought some great young men and women to The Long Gray Line. I sit on the service academy nomination boards of my two senators and my congressman. As a result of these activities I'm frequently at West Point, and it could be said that I'm at USMA more now than I was as a cadet!

I'm still active with the Cadet Skeet & Trap Club and have been involved with some activities that have helped make the club one of the most robust cadet activities in The Corps. I enjoy being around young people whether challenged or gifted; it keeps me young. Looking back, I probably should have considered a vocation as a teacher rather than an officer.

I am now well into my 80's but have no intention of "going gentle into that good night". Other than painting and shotgun sports, my joy at this time of my "day" is keeping in touch with my old USMAPS mates and those old grads to whom I have grown close since 1957. I have met no better men.

Plebe Christmas 1957, West Point — John Grisoni and Bob Janoska (photo taken by Mike Xenos)

Plebe Christmas 1957, West Point — John Grisoni and Bob Janoska (photo taken by Mike Xenos)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last update:
4/03/2019