Louis “Lou” Sola proudly served in the US Army for nearly 12 years mainly in Military Intelligence as an Interrogator with most of his time spent overseas.
Lou Sola was born on January 8th, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of a barber who worked on a military base and his mother was a nurse. After both of Lou’s parents began struggling with opiate addiction, which eventually took his mother’s life, Lou and his younger brother were moved to his grandparents and spent their childhood in rural Goodland, Indiana.
Lou was raised by his grandfather, Ernest Alberio, a decorated WWII veteran who served under General George Patton. Lou’s grandfather had a prosthetic leg due to his war injuries. Lou says of his childhood, “Every morning I would help my grandfather put his work boots on at 7 a.m. Back then the technology wasn’t as good as it is today so his leg did not bend and he needed assistance for which he loathed. I watched firsthand as he fought WWII every day of his life. My grandfather taught me how to honor our flag and the sacrifice that so many have made.”
Teenage Years and Military Career
Lou began working nearly full time at the age of 12 any job he could find to include: painting houses, roofing, walking beans, short order cook, gas station attendant, and in an aluminum factory.
Lou’s Grandfather passed away at a VA hospital shortly before Lou was to graduate from South Newton HS in Kentland, Indiana and he decided then and there that he would serve as soon as he was able. Mr. Sola joined the Army Reserves as carpenter and began Basic Training in Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri. When asked about why he choose this job, Sola replied, “I was counting the days until I could join the Army. I really didn’t even know we could choose our jobs.”
While in the Army Reserves, Mr. Sola studied History at Parkland Community College and obtained an Associates in Arts. The Army tested Mr. Sola’s aptitude as part of his enlistment and discovered Mr. Sola was gifted in linguistics and could easily learn different languages. Mr. Sola enlisted in the US Army as an Interrogator / linguist and was sent to the Defense Language School, Presidio de Monterey, California for extensive language training. Mr. Sola is a two time graduate of this most prestigious school.
“I was counting the days until I could join the Army. I really didn’t even know we could choose our jobs.”
After completing German Language Course, Army Intelligence School’s Interrogation Course and finally Airborne School in 1989, Mr. Sola was stationed overseas at the Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, 5th MI Battalion in Munich, Germany. Mr. Sola worked mainly as a plain clothes Strategic Debriefer with the numerous communist refugees inflowing from the West after the fall of the Berlin Wall for the collection of Human Intelligence (HUMINT).
After a two year deployment in Germany, Mr. Sola was stationed again at the Defense Language Institute for reclassification as a Spanish Linguist and subsequently assigned to the 310 Counter Intelligence Battalion based in the Republic of Panama. Mr. Sola’s missions included assistance with the Cuban Refugee Crisis, Counter Drug Operations, Special Operations Command, and Counter Intelligence Missions. During this time in the early 1990’s, Mr. Sola was on the front lines of the War on drugs and volunteered to be his units Alcohol and Drug Abuse Officer. Mr. Sola’s unit was tasked with many intelligence priorities concerning counter narcotics missions.
While stationed overseas, Mr. Sola completed his college degree and was blessed with the first of two children Carolyn Sola, born in Gorgas Army Hospital in 1996. Carolyn today is currently a senior at Florida State University. In 1997, Mr. Sola left the Army to further his education completing his Masters of Science in Finance at the University of Illinois in 1998. Latter that same year, Lou began teaching courses in Business at Florida State University, Panama Campus. In 1999, Mr. Sola was blessed with his second child, Anthony Sola. Anthony is currently a freshman at the University of Miami.