Honoring our own: Veterans in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Craig Giggleman
Julie

Julie Kycia retired in April 2013 as a master sergeant after 21 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. She was stationed at Westover Air Reserve Base for her entire career and was called to active duty for more than two years in support of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. In her last position before retirement, she served as the administrative supervisor, security manager and health monitor for a unit of more than 350 members.

She graduated in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Westfield State College. For the past two years, Julie has worked in the Northeast Regional Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the executive secretary for the Regional Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Thank you to all our veterans and active military personnel who bravely work to protect the freedoms we are so grateful for in this country.

The sacrifices you have made serving and protecting our country and communities keep us strong and bonded as a nation.

As we lead into Veterans Day weekend, we’d like to honor some of our own employees who have unselfishly served our country.

Their stories are among many to tell in our region. Check back Monday for more!

See more veteran profiles from our region, or check out our national photo album of Fish and Wildlife Service veterans.

 micky-novak-teaching-kids

Micky Novak (center in above photo) was in the Special Forces Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) while attending Colorado State University. After graduating with a degree in fisheries, Micky began his military career at Fort Riley in Kansas, home of the 7th Cavalry. He was deployed in 1971 to the 63rd Signal Battalion in the Republic of South Vietnam. After serving a year in Vietnam, Micky returned to the U.S. and began work in the field of natural resources. Micky started work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1977 as the manager of Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. He has more than 41 years working in civilian federal service.

In 1980, Micky started work in the Atlantic salmon recovery program and has worked at the National Cronin Salmon Station hatchery for 22 years. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Micky initiated a veterans fishing program that offers wounded veterans an opportunity to fish and learn about the outdoors. A few years ago, the program expanded to include a vegetable garden started by two veterans who participate in the fishing programs and volunteer regularly at the hatchery.

craig

Craig Giggleman, a fish and wildlife biologist in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Virginia Field Office, first enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1986. Having just graduated from college, Craig planned to eventually return to school to complete a graduate degree program. He was no stranger to military life, having been raised in a family with a long history of men who served their country in armed forces.

Craig served on active duty in the 25th Infantry Division, a light infantry unit specializing in jungle warfare. During his time in the Army, he was stationed at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii and completed tours in the Philippines and Korea.

In 1989, Craig left the Army and enrolled in the National Guard. He completed his full obligation in 1994 and was honorably discharged from the Army. With a master’s degree in ecotoxicology, Craig began working for the Service in Ecological Services offices in Texas. In 2012, he transferred to the Virginia Field Office in Gloucester.

Craig says that his military background and training prepared him extremely well for conducting emergency response operations. His son continues the family tradition of serving the country, having enrolled in the U.S. Army just over a month ago.

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