Spotlight on Ohlone:
Mendoza off to protect country

By Sean Nero, Staff writer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009—Reprinted from Monitor.

“If I don’t go, someone else would have to.”

These were the words that Campus Police Officer Miguel Mendoza told fellow Officer Ben Peralta and Chief of Campus Services, Safety and Security Steve Osawa regarding his reactivation to active duty in the U.S Army.

Officer Peralta said that Mendoza “has relatives in Mexico and in San Jose, but only had a month to get his family and friends squared away before having to report to his base for duty. Osawa said “Prior to his departure the department held a going away ceremony in his honor.Peralta said, “Miguel is an infantryman” meaning, he is specifically trained in the area of attack operations and is usually on the frontline during hostile situations. According to Peralta, “Mendoza has been an employee at Ohlone for about two years and has shown an impeccable work ethic and values, that closely mirror what Ohlone is all about” As an employee, Chief Osawa described Mendoza as a “friendly, hard working, conscientious person who got along with his co-workers, staff and students here at the college” Peralta shared those sentiments describing Mendoza as “One of the bright stars here at the college” due to his loyalty, reliability, overall kindness and contributions to society. Peralta noted Mendoza’s ability to adapt to stressful situations seamlessly and transcend the expectations of a Campus Police Officer to become one of the better-spoken people on campus. Peralta says that Mendoza’s Service reach “far beyond his duties as an Officer” extending to a protector and server of the entire Ohlone district. Osawa and Peralta both say that they are “saddened by Miguel’s absence.”

“Miguel is scheduled to be back on the homeland in August but could be called upon to serve longer due to stop-loss Mendoza” according to Peralta. According to Osawa, Stop-loss is the involuntary extension of a soldier’s tour of duty. Stop loss prevents a solider from returning on their scheduled date due to shortages or necessity. President assistant & Adjunct Faculty Sarah Daniels and fellow faculty members would like to gather items in order to send a care package to Mendoza. “We’re putting together an Ohlone ‘care package’ to send to Miguel, along with a card that’s available for signing,” said Daniels. She also said that students are encouraged to donate items to the care package. If you would like to donate or sign the card go to Room 1216 on or before March 27.

Proposed items for the care package include microwavable popcorn, nuts, sunflower seeds. beef jerky, dried fruit, cookies, powdered drinks, sunscreen, disposable cameras, hand sanitizer, handheld games and playing cards. For more information, contact Sarah Daniels at 659-7369.

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