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Perseverance, dedication pay off for Bonners Ferry Coast Guardsman

June 6, 2022

A Bonners Ferry man who enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2005 so as to get out of North Idaho and see the world beyond expected, going in, that like most, he'd be assigned to a cutter on graduation from boot camp. But his career took a different tack, thanks to his willingness to accept challenges, take risks and apply himself to achieve them.

Hans Solum, the son of Ed and Sue Solum, grew up in Bonners Ferry. Home schooled, he earned his high school diploma in 2003. His dad had worked at Sims Implement for years, and founded Solum Mobile Repair after it closed down. In March, 2005, Hans enlisted.

He did well in boot camp, and instead of going to sea, he was offered the chance to try for one of five billets available to become an aviation electronics technician and he succeeded, spending the next several years working on C130-H and C130-J aircraft.

In 2014, he decided to push himself once again in hopes of advancing his career, again with no guarantee except that it would entail hard work, commitment and perseverance. He signed up for the U.S. Coast Guard's direct commission engineering program and began working toward earning his bachelor's degree through the University of Arkansas Grantham, which offers online degree programs designed for active duty military personnel.

He succeeded in earning his bachelor's degree in electronics engineering technology, and on June 29, with 17 years' service under his belt, he went from the enlisted to the officer ranks as he was commissioned an ensign.

"It's almost surreal," he said.

He and his wife Cynthia now live in Portsmouth, Virginia, where Hans is stationed. They have two grown sons, one a Marine lance corporal serving in Quantico, Virginia.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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