Distinguished servicemen highlight COM’s Veterans Day celebration
College of the Mainland will salute area veterans at a Veterans Day celebration from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the college library.
Area vets are encouraged to attend and hear special guest Col. Christopher W. Sallese, District Engineer and Commanding Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael Gibson of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
The celebration is free, sponsored by the COM Multicultural team.
Sallese has had a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2004, he was assigned to the Galveston District as the Deputy District Commander. In 2006, he assumed command of the 92nd Engineer Battalion (C)(H), 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., and deployed his battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V.
In 2008, he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Washington D.C., and earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Resources. Following graduation, Sallese served as Chief, Programs Integration Division, Assistant Chief of Staff, Installation Management, the Pentagon.
Sallese’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (3), Meritorious Service Medal (7), Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal (4), National Defense Service Medal (2), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Saudi Arabian Kuwait Liberation Medal, Kuwaiti Kuwait Liberation Medal, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Sapper Tab.
He became commander of the Galveston District on July 7, 2010.
Gibson graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Government-International Affairs. He attended Naval flight training in Pensacola, Fla., where he received his “Wings of Gold." He is currently a co-pilot in the MH-65C "Dolphin" helicopter at USCG Air Station Houston.
In addition to his primary duty as a pilot, Gibson is also the Flight Services and Public Affairs Officer for Air Station Houston.
College of the Mainland is located at 1200 Amburn Rd., in Texas City.