In response to Hurricane Harvey, HCC employee answers the call for active duty

Sep 13, 2017

While many Houstonians were scrambling to recover following Hurricane Harvey, Saul Marroquin was answering a call to service. Marroquin, whose day job is a senior information technology project analyst for Houston Community College (HCC), was honored to be called to active duty as a project engineer by the Texas Air National Guard.

Currently, Marroquin is stationed at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Clear Lake, supporting operations during the aftermath of what is arguably Houston’s most catastrophic storm.

What makes his work with the National Guard so interesting is that it is comparable to the information technology work he does for HCC. In addition to new infrastructure and communication installations and management, he also does critical information analysis.

“Everything I do in the National Guard is very close to what I do for HCC communications, but more secure,” Marroquin shared. His military work is so secure, he had to receive secret clearance and, feasibly, could be called on to update the telecommunications systems at the White House if needed. It is similar to how HCC IT is working to get the college fully functional after the storm.

According to Marroquin’s supervisor, Fheryl Prestage, associate vice chancellor for Core Information Services, the HCC IT team’s response to Hurricane Harvey has mirrored that of local Houston area communities. Marroquin’s team is practicing vigilance with regard to safety and working to serve and assist others to create some sense of normalcy after the storm.

While Marroquin is away from HCC, his team is stepping up to take over his duties. “My HCC team is very supportive of anything I need to do and have a lot of respect for my being in the military,” he said. “I feel confident I can ask for anything to support my mission and they will back me up.”

“HCC not only fully supports Saul’s role in the National Guard, we want him to know that we are interested in his well-being and that of his family,” Prestage said. 

While Marroquin cannot give specifics about his mission at Ellington Field, he is happy to do his part to help Houston get back up and operational. “People are coming from different states and being placed at Ellington Field,” Marroquin noted. He said he is impressed seeing all the different departments of the military services working so well together.

Marroquin really appreciates the comradery and brotherhood he has seen and experienced as part of the National Guard. “Even though we don’t know each other, we do the same work. We help people and that’s something I like,” Marroquin shared.

Marroquin enlisted in the military after high school. He wanted to follow the path to higher education but hit some personal roadblocks, one of which was finding a way to pay for school while also working. Joining the military gave him a way to pay for his education, it also gave him the education that led to his career.

For information about HCC’s Veterans Services visit www.hccs.edu/veterans


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