More Reflections on Vets

Nina Riccio’s fine article “Coming Home,” (Fairfield Now, Summer ’09) was both informative and gratifying to me. It demonstrated the University’s continuing commitment toward returning veterans and harkened back to a time in my life when earlier generations of returning veterans were welcomed back into civilian life and provided the opportunity to immediately resume career choices through higher education.

As a veteran who was able to return to school through the G.I. Bill in 1952 and could enjoy the privilege of student status at Fairfield University, I am proud to see that our school continues to recognize the potential of today’s returning service men and women and what certainly will be an enrichment to the campus as they make the social and financial adjustments to their new lives here. While broadly informative, Ms. Riccio’s piece was at the same time uniquely relevant to what is essentially a small but vital portion of the Fairfield community. As so it was once before.

After nearly four years of Army discipline (1949-1952; Korea 1950-1951) I was able to combine that set of values with an additional four more years of academic values and social standards through Jesuit philosophies. Whatever man I became, thus was it forged.

I am grateful therefore to all of the Jesuit and lay faculty members who so influenced my life and most especially do I appreciate the caring friendship of the late Rev. George Mahan, S. J., whose assistance facilitated my admission there in September, 1952, only three days after my honorable discharge from the military.

I am inspired finally to express my gratitude for having benefitted from a G.I. Bill and a Fairfield University that offered its support and encouragement.

Gerard A. Sheehan ’56

Send your letters to the editor of Fairfield University Magazine to Alistair Highet at