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Eric Slebodnik

I was very sad to read about Eric Slebodnik in the last issue of IUP Magazine that he was killed in Iraq serving with the Pennsylvania National Guard. Eric Slebodnik gave the most that he could give to his country, Pennsylvania, and IUP. I believe he deserved better recognition from IUP than a simple short P.S. in the back of your magazine—his life and sacrifice are just as memorable and worthy of highlight as other articles in your magazine. I can appreciate and compliment the president of the university for receiving a gold medal for his academic service and office. Guardsman Slebodnik also earned a prestigious gold medal—the Purple Heart.

Realizing now that this was not the first IUP student to be killed in Iraq, I strongly suggest you publish a memorable and fitting article for all those at IUP who have made such terrible sacrifices to allow us to have the best country to live in that history has ever recorded. 

I have seen many friends, colleagues, and fellow Soldiers and Marines give so much and endure such harm and terror over there—many without notice or appreciation of those back home—and who make such costly sacrifice in careers, family, and personal life. They surely still deserve our best in prayers, thoughts, memory, and support—for they are even now and have given that same back to us so many times over in their service to our country. They should remain ever part of the IUP family and tradition and be held with the most honored of IUP’s alumni, students, and faculty. 

—Lieutenant Colonel Milan Kobulnicky, USA ’82
Woodbridge, Va.

(The writer is an Army Special Forces officer supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both of IUP’s most recent student casualties in the Iraq war were awarded posthumous degrees at December Commencement ceremonies. )

Frank Cignetti

“Geography Lesson” by Bob Fulton in the Winter issue of IUP Magazine is one of the best, most well-written articles that I have ever read. And I’m no youngster to sports articles.

Thank you to the writer for recognizing Frank Cignetti’s many accomplishments and putting them down in a very creative fashion.

—Bob Cleminson ’59
Nellysford, Va.