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Mom, 56, Joins Ohio National Guard

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio - A Willoughby mother of three will soon be putting on the uniform of the Ohio National Guard.

On Monday, Dr. Maita Jarkewicz was sworn in as a captain.

"I'm serving our country but I'm also making sure that our sons, our daughters who are willing to risk their lives, are in the best shape that they can be," Jarkewicz says.

Jarkewicz retired from practice in 2004 because of the high cost of malpractice insurance. She had her own family practice office.

Then her son James, who is also a private first class in the Guard, told her about a need for military medical pros.

"The guard needs more physicians out there so, if I can help that process along, then I'm doing something more than just being a physician," Jarkewicz says.

She reactivated her medical license and completed a mountain of paperwork. She had to prove herself capable because, after all, she's 56 years old.

Her drive didn't surprise her husband Gary.

"When she sets her mind to something, she really works hard at it until she gets it accomplished and nothing stops her," Gary says.

James is proud of his mom.

"She has the will to keep going, even after retirement and still wants to work," James says.

She's awaiting orders as to where she'll spend her active weekend a month and she's aware she may be sent overseas.

"We ask our sons and daughters to go, it's just part of the job," she says.

Normally, there would be an age limit but, because of the great need for doctors, the requirement was waived.

Jarkewicz is hoping other doctors consider signing up as well.

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