Students Being Called for Active Duty

All twenty-nine ECSU students who enlisted for active duty have been called out to serve our country in the war against terrorism. Twenty-eight of the twenty-nine students serve in the National Guard while one student serves in the Coast Guard.
According to the Veteran’s Affairs Office, it seems that more students have been called out in this upcoming war than in our last war, which was Desert Storm.

Coast Guard member Matthew Solak says that when he first heard he had to go out on deployment to serve, he experienced, “a combination of being upset; having to go away from home, pull out of school, and quit his job. But I also had a feeling of enthusiasm and pride that I get to be a part of this operation.”

Solak’s current assignment is working with the New York Harbor Port Security at Staten Island. He is part of a team that looks out for suspicious activities along the New York City coastline. Him and his team work between fourteen and eighteen hours a day and help inspect boats and monitor activity on bridges and tunnels that connect New York City to surrounding areas. Since December, special attention was paid toward increasing security in the city.

Solak is full of optimism in the fact that he is able to see spectacular sights like the Statue of Liberty lit up at night and laments that he could be in worse situations. He explains that some of his team members he has met before in training sessions at the Coast Guard Academy in New London.

Even though there is an amount of unpredictability and change occurs on a day-to-day basis, Solak believes that his deployment won’t last longer than a year. Several Coast Guard members have been sent aboard to do infrastructure for the Navy but he doesn’t believe he will be one of them.

The process that the twenty-nine students went through to withdraw from ECSU allows them to return after their deployment without penalties, said Jane Lamere from the Veteran’s Affairs Office. Those students needed only to fill out a Leave of Absence form at the Academic Advisement Center and get their orders paperwork to the Veteran’s Affairs Office. The Veteran’s Affairs Office contacted an academic dean who then let professors know which of their students were withdrawing due to active duty. The office also contacts the Registrar’s Office and the Cashier’s Office. These offices reimburse students of all tuition and student fees and ensure that the student is pro-rated from the Department of Housing and Card Services if the student resided on-campus and/or had a meal plan.

Most of the students, including Solak, who were called out for active duty have indicated that they plan to return to ECSU after their deployment is over.

The Veteran’s Affairs Office contacted an academic dean who then let professors know which of their students were withdrawing due to active duty. The office also contacts the Registrar’s Office and the Cashier’s Office. These offices reimburse students of all tuition and student fees and ensure that the student is pro-rated from the Department of Housing and Card Services if the student resided on-campus and/or had a meal plan.

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