In order to best protect the health and well-being of our University community, and in accordance with the latest public health guidance, we are requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for all members of our University community. More than 475 colleges and universities across the country – including many of our peer institutions in Connecticut – have implemented this policy to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their campuses.
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Nalezynski was among the more than 25,000 members of the National Guard serving in Washington, along with many other law enforcement agencies, ensuring the safety of everyone attending the inauguration. Serving at a checkpoint near the National Mall, he worked with several agencies, including the Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), checking the credentials of anyone trying to gain access at the checkpoint.
“My role in the recent inauguration was historic,” he said. “Being a part of such a historic moment meant a lot to me. This event will be talked about and included in history books for years to come, and to be a part of that was amazing.”
‘I believe my mission in life is to save lives’
Nalezynski attended basic and advanced training shortly after beginning his second semester at the University. He has since been deployed to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where he served for nearly a year, and, last year, he supported Connecticut during the early months of the coronavirus global pandemic. He continued his education part time while serving in each mission. He was called to serve again as he was preparing for the spring semester, so he headed to Washington.
Nalezynski’s professor, Robert Sanders, LP.D., J.D., LLM, mentioned Nalezynski’s service in Washington in a recent interview with Wake Up With Cheddar. Nalezynski’s service on Inauguration Day continued into the night, when he was moved to the United States Capitol Building to conduct security around the perimeter – an especially crucial role following the riot that took place there just weeks earlier.
“I learned a lot from this experience,” he said. “In the military we say, ‘one team, one fight,’ and that is exactly what we did. From guardsmen and guardswomen from around the country, police, Secret Service, TSA, and many more agencies, we all collectively got together to assist and protect.”
A national security major, Nalezynski is now back at the University for the spring semester. If – or more accurately when – duty calls, he is ready to serve again.
“I believe my mission in life is to save lives and to protect the United States in any way I can,” he said. “If I can save just one life, my mission will complete.”