WRHS grad serves in Army to help mend soldiers

Sun News correspondentJanuary 23, 2013 

A Warner Robins High School graduate has gone on to help mend the sick and injured in the Army.

Dominic Solari, a 1991 graduate and a former deputy commander of Warner Robins High’s ROTC unit, is a major in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Currently stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., Solari treats patients in both the basic training sick call clinic and the emergency room.

Early in his career, Solari was serving as a platoon sergeant at Fort Drum in New York, said his parents, Dennis and Sandy Solari, of Warner Robins, when several platoons were combined to make a company.

“They were shorthanded and needed someone to go to EMT training,” Dennis Solari said.

Dominic Solari volunteered and spent eight weeks training in an ER and another eight weeks training on ambulance calls. After receiving his certification in EMT, Solari decided on a career change to make nursing his full time occupation.

“He really enjoys the fact that he helps save people,” said his father. “He is serving to save others.”

Solari went to school and received his bachelor of science in nursing from Utica College, a division of Syracuse University. He is also a recent graduate of the Uniformed Services Medical College where he attained a masters degree in nursing and earned qualifications as a family nurse practitioner.

Solari was promoted to major Jan. 1.

Dominic Solari said that while making the transition from enlisted to officer can be challenging, he had an example close by.

“My dad had been enlisted and had become an officer,” he said. “I knew I just had to get myself an education.”

That education actually had started back in high school. Solari said that from the time he joined the military, his ROTC training from Warner Robins High School came in useful.

“I understood a lot more at basic training,” he said, “and more about drill and ceremonies.”

His ROTC experience is not limited to Warner Robins High School; while at Utica College, he was commander of the ROTC unit and is the recipient of the unit’s Golden Saber for Superior Performance by a cadet.

While serving in Iraq, Solari worked in a trauma section of a support hospital, taking care of injuries that ranged from standard trauma, like a car accident, to victims who had been shot or involved in an explosion.

His wife, Capt. Kimberly Bates Solari, is also a nurse and serves as the Officer in Charge of the Emergency Room at the base hospital at Fort Sill. The couple actually met while serving in Iraq and assigned to a combat arms surgical hospital. Kimberly Bates Solari recently returned from a second deployment to the Middle East. Both are veterans of the Iraq War.

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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