Capital Chapter Gathers at Bleu Frog Winery for April Social

Under beautiful blue skies, members of the NIP Capital Chapter ventured out to the Bleu Frog Vineyards in Leesburg, Virginia on 20 April 2024—and the winery did not disappoint! Extremely family-friendly, the winery is owned and run by retired Vice Admiral Joe Kernan and his wife, Jan. It was named (according to the website) “to honor Jan’s passion and expertise in the French culinary arts and Joe’s long-term service in the U.S. Navy SEAL community as a “frogman.” 

Bleu Frog graciously offered NIP the use of its covered patio for the afternoon, which was the perfect venue for the twenty or so NIP members who showed up, to include NIP Chair Vice Admiral (Ret) Bob Sharp, and Lieutenant General (Ret) Mike Groen and his wife Jeanne. Although it was a bit of a drive to get to the winery, it was well worth it. Everyone who came enjoyed the gorgeous spring afternoon, great conversation, spectacular wine, cold beer, and even some live music. At the end of the afternoon, Capital Chapter President Dave Mattingly said, “We may need to make this an annual event!”  

Jan and VADM (Ret) Joe Kernan (first row, in black) pose with the NIP group in front of the wine tasting room at Bleu Frog Vineyard, 20 Apr 2024.
L-R: VADM (Ret) Bob Sharp, CAPT (Ret) Steve Horrell, LtGen (Ret) Mike Groen and Jeanne Groen
The Bleu Frog Vineyard main tasting room (the patio NIP used was to the left, with live music playing to the right under the canopy)
L-R: ISCM (Ret) Dave Mattingly, VADM (Ret) Bob Sharp, CAPT Regina Slavin, CAPT (Ret) Steve Horrell
L-R: CAPT Mike Hubbard, Audrey Hubbard, RDML Josh Himes
L-R: NIP Membership Chair LCDR Jon Hilzinger and Capital Chapter President Dave Mattingly
The patio provided by Bleu Frog for NIP’s use