Student Veteran of the Month
Karol Stolarski learned important lessons after enlisting in the U.S. Army in 2010.
“In the Army, I learned that the only thing worse than failing is never trying,” he said. “This gave me the confidence and strength to achieve all my goals and overcome all my obstacles.” Stolarski served from 2010 to 2014 as a Combat Medic with the 82nd Airborne Division stationed in North Carolina.
His training began with Basic Combat Training in Fort Benning, Georgia. He later went to San Antonio, Texas, for medic training, then returned to Georgia for Airborne training. Stolarski deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 to support Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2014, he returned to Afghanistan for his second deployment.
Stolarski achieved the rank of Specialist (E-4) and was awarded two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Medical Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge, and Parachutist Badge.
After serving four years, Stolarski moved home to Chicago to begin his undergraduate degree. After spending time at Truman and Wilbur Wright College, he transferred to UIC to study computer science.
“I appreciate individuality,” he said. “Not to nourish oneself, but in times, challenging humanity.”