Upper Schoolers Hear from Familiar Faces on Veterans Day
At the Upper School Veterans Day Assembly on Friday, November 11, 2022, two familiar faces to students spoke about their time serving in the United States Armed Forces. Read the remarks below of Justin Sollers, Executive Chef for FLIK Independent School Dining and Christine Pickett, Upper School Science Teacher, who served in the U.S. Air Force and Army respectively.
By Justin Sollers, Executive Chef for FLIK Independent School Dining and United States Air Force Veteran
I am proud and honored to have served in the United States AirForce from 1994 until 1999. I was a Staff Sergeant by the time I left the service. My career field while I was in the Air Force was a surveillance operator on an E-3 sentry aircraft better known as an AWACS. For my five years, I was stationed in Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. I did two tours in Kuwait during the conflict of Desert Storm and Desert Shield. I also did one tour during the Bosnian War. I was fortunate to travel the world because of my career field. I cherish the five years that I was in the Air Force and my Flight Team will always be my brothers and sisters for life.
By Christine Pickett, Upper School Science Teacher and United States Army Veteran
In honor of Veteran’s Day, I would like to tell you a little bit about my military journey and why I served.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Christine Pickett and I am an Upper School science teacher here at MICDS. Prior to becoming a teacher, I served in the United States Army for eight years. I was working as a marine biologist in Hawaii after 9/11 and felt a personal call to serve. People join the military for a wide variety of reasons, but for me, I felt within myself a need to serve the country.
When I first joined the military, I served as a combat medic for one year and then was commissioned as an Environmental Science and Preventive Medicine Officer under the umbrella of the Medical Services Corps. My job gave me countless opportunities for growth, promotion, and certification in a variety of medical service specialties. These opportunities were unparalleled in the civilian world. I was even given an opportunity to work with Special Operations personnel for the final year of my career at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, as part of a Cultural Support Team of all female soldiers and officers.
The kind of job that I held was in the medical field. So, I had a range of opportunities to work. I worked in the Brigade level with 1,500 soldiers and a field hospital, a small community hospital at the National Training Center, and worked all the way up to a level-two trauma center in Hawaii. I was surrounded by phenomenal medical personnel that made my job really the best in the Army. It’s these opportunities and experiences that have made me who I am today.
On the screen behind me [above], you see my amazing Top Medic Team. These officers, non-commission officers, and warrant officers are the biggest takeaway from my time in service. Standing by that rock, you see medical equipment specialists, Commanders, 1SGs, nurses, combat medics, and medical logistics personnel. This team, these men and women, were not only my “battle buddies” and colleagues, but they were also the best medics in California and dedicated their lives to saving others.
On Veteran’s Day, I honor all of the men and women who have served in the United States military and I thank them.
Thank you to Mr. Sollers, Ms. Pickett, and to all veterans who work at MICDS for their service!