When Hill AFB lost one of its members in May 2011, people who knew him felt a need to commemorate his bravery and sacrifice with a permanent memorial. Thus, Tech. Sgt. Kristoffer Solesbee now has a street named after him. He had had been stationed at Hill before his final deployment to Afghanistan as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician.
At the unveiling of the new road sign with his surname, Solesbee, Maj. Gen. Timothy A. Byers, Air Force Civil Engineer, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, paid tribute to the young EOD technician in the presence of his parents, Larry Solesbee and Sandra Parker, and his wife, Lilia, as a gentle rain fell on the assembled crowd of Airmen, news representatives and family.
"With this sign, we give him a permanent mark on Hill Air Force Base, so that he will always be a part of it," Byers said.
The general also paid tribute to Solesbee's family, who had traveled from across the country to attend the event.
Solebee, who was 32 years old when he was killed in Afghanistan, was born in Italy and spent most of his childhood in Citrus Heights, Calif. He joined the Air Force in 1999, became an EOD technician, and served all over the world, meeting his wife, Lilia (who is originally from Kyrgyzstan), when he was stationed in Korea. He became part of 775th Civil Engineer Squadron's EOD Flight and was stationed at Hill AFB.
Having been deployed twice for Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was deployed again for Operation Enduring Freedom in the Shorabak district of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan, where he was killed when his unit was attacked.
Although Solesbee was buried at the prestigious Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, Hill AFB officials felt the need to have a memorial to him nearby.
The street named for him is at the southern end of Hill AFB, near the chapel and camping grounds, and was formerly known as 12th Street.