GCC’s Own Head Out to War

El Vaquero Staff Writer

At least three GCC students are fighting in Iraq.

Sharon Combs, dean of the Office of Admissions and Records, said the names of the three male students could not be made public. “The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, protects students’ names from inquiring minds,” Combs said.

She also added this might not be the official number because there may be additional students who have not turned in their orders to Admissions.
The orders from the Pentagon were sent to the soldiers, and the soldiers prepared for departure within the spring semester. They said goodbye to their friends, family and to GCC.

“One of the students had an order to leave the country in 24 hours. A family member for that student came into Admissions and presented the order,” Combs said.

The other two students individually withdrew from the spring semester after they received the certified letter.

One of the men (who was to be deployed to the front lines in Iraq) presented a medal coin to Combs.

A large eagle was embossed on the front of the coin, with the words, “Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom.”

On the flip side of the coin, the words, “In Memory of Sept. 11, 2001,” floated underneath an illustration of the Twin Towers. Combs said she keeps the silver coin on her desk to remember those students.

The students will be able to come back to school and resume their education “as if they never interrupted” the process, Combs said.

When a student goes on military leave, the student receives an “MW,” or a military withdraw.

“When the student shows their orders, we give them an MW for the semester,” said Combs. Even if they were only in class for a short period of time, “by law, they need an official withdraw.”

This goes for students that have yet to “officially drop” from the roster.

“No student will be reprimanded by the college if they bring in their orders after they return from war,” said Combs.