Dragons Who Serve: Wendy Gibson

Wendy Gibson, Tower Soudan, Minn., native, served nine years in the United States Army. Wendy joined the Army after starting graduate school. She was looking for a way to earn extra money and found herself speaking to an Army recruiter. She was then signed up for four years in return for having her school loans paid for.

Wendy ran NDSU’s Interlibrary Loan Department for 15 years before joining MSUM, where she has run the Interlibrary Loan Department for eight years, ordering books and articles for patrons and other libraries.

Graduating from NDSU, Wendy began graduate school in 1985 for animal science. However, she joined the Army as a graphics illustrator –– drawing charts and creating graphs. What is now done on a computer, she was doing by hand. For the last five years of her service, Wendy became an animal care specialist in San Diego, Calif. Although Wendy took on two very different careers, it reflects the flexibility and number of career options within the military.

Following the completion of her service, Wendy joined the Troops to Teachers program and received a teaching degree from MSUM. Troops to Teachers assists service members and veterans in becoming certified to teach in K-12 schools.

Wendy is most proud of the fact that she served her country and feels a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. Among her accommodation and achievement medals, she was praised by a sergeant in her unit. “He said he wished he could have a platoon of soldiers like me,” Wendy recalls. “It was because I was very determined and structured, more than others. That was a comment I’ll never forget.”

Looking back on her personal service experience, Wendy wished more people, especially students, would consider joining the military. It taught her skills she continues to use and lessons she will never forget, including structure, self-discipline and independence. Along with lifelong skills, Wendy’s college loans were paid off and she now has free medical care.

“My Army experience changed my life and I continue to see the benefits from my service,” Wendy says. She encourages anyone to explore the positions available and life-long value the military offers.

Wendy celebrates Veteran’s Day by putting up her flag and taking advantage of the well-deserved perks offered to Veterans. Many members of Wendy’s family have also served in branches of the military including the Air Force and the Navy, stating that it’s a point of pride to be able to serve their country.

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