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Patriots Colony At Williamsburg offers something for everyone

Tony Nadal is an extrovert, who enjoys signing up for as many learning opportunities as he can find. His wife, Gabrielle, prefers to stay home, read and garden.

Patriots Colony At Williamsburg, a Riverside Health System continuing care retirement community designed for those who share the common bond of service to country, is the perfect fit for both.

He can do his thing — Patriots Colony offers dozens of clubs from bridge to bocce ball. She can do her thing — curling up in front of a toasty fire in their living room to continue the two or three books she’s reading simultaneously. Both say they benefit from a community of peers.

“Military people, regardless of the level of service they were in, share a sense of values,” said Tony Nadal, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and retired Army colonel who deployed multiple times to fight in the Vietnam War. “We share a sense of values about defending our nation. We share a sense of values about our country.”

Gabrielle Nadal lived as a civilian after she lost her first husband, also a servicemember, and as much as she prefers time to herself, she found it isolating. Military members are used to their spouses deploying; a sense of comradery is easily developed among those left behind. 

“Military communities make you feel included,” she said. “You’re always welcome. Everybody looks out for you. That’s what we have at Patriots Colony.”

The Nadals moved to their current house from Ford’s Colony in 2016, but Tony showed off the 90-acre campus to his wife in 2004. He narrowed down his criteria to three must-have options for his eventual move.

He wanted to be close to Washington, D.C., where he had longtime friends.

He wanted to be in a university town, so he could continue to satisfy his academic curiosity.

He wanted to be near a military facility.

“Patriots Colony met all three criteria,” he said.

The Nadals settled on a house instead of the villa and apartment options. “I’m pretty much an outdoors person,” Gabrielle said. “I like to go outside on the deck and have my coffee even if it’s snowing.”

Tony stays busy working out at the state-of-the-art fitness center and participating in William and Mary’s lifelong learning program. Patriots Colony didn’t have a wine society, “so I started one,” he said.

Both can’t say enough about the staff at Patriots Colony. They know all of the staff members well, and more importantly, the staff knows them, and seemingly all of the residents, by name.

“It’s more than kindness,” Gabrielle said. “It’s family. They’re more than polite. They’re family.”

Of course, Tony is also grateful he’s got plenty of pals around to tune into the Army/Navy football game annually. The 2019 West Point football uniform for that annual rivalry was dedicated to him and his unit in Vietnam. 

“Go Army!” he smiled.