August 16, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU alumni relations director answers Army's call - again
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Michael Saraka, Slippery Rock University's director of alumni relations, re-enlisted this week in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard after serving from 1989-1995. "In some small way, I just want to do my part," he said.
Saraka, a 1989 SRU graduate, took the oath for a one-year assignment and was placed with the 1 Battalion 107th Field Artillery unit in New Castle as a human resources specialist.
"I'm 42 years old, which is the age limit someone can go back into the National Guard," he said. "I'm not going to be what they call a 'ground pounder' anymore, but will be working on the administrative side of the house. As long as I maintain the weight and physical training standards of the Army, I should be OK."
Saraka will continue his responsibilities as SRU alumni relations director. The guard is a part-time job requiring one weekend a month and two weeks of annual duty.
"There are a lot of other very brave men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who are certainly more deserving of praise and recognition," Saraka said. "I just hope I can help out in any way I can."
After receiving a master's degree in student personnel from SRU, Saraka enlisted in the National Guard. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion 103rd Armor in Berwick. He attended officer's candidate school and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1992.
He's going back in as a specialist E-4.
Lt. Col. William Bialozor, commander of the University's Army ROTC program, administered the oath.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.