Throughout the 2023-24 academic year, Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School will celebrate our 90th anniversary! Here, we introduce our community to “90 Faces of LBC” each week. Keep up with all the news and events of our 90th year, read stories and more at lbc.edu/90.
Staff Sgt. Nicole Valinteno (’14)
Building Toward Freedom in the Middle East
Staff Sgt. (E-6) Nicole Valinteno’s (’14) military career began when she joined the United States Army Reserves in 2006 as a senior in high school. She left for basic training the following year and completed her eight-year contract just a few months after graduating from LBC with a degree in Live Production.
However, it wasn’t long until Nicole got the “itch” and ended up rejoining four years later. She now has 13½ years of service with the military and recently returned home from her first deployment, which lasted 10 months. She and her unit spent approximately two weeks in Kuwait before moving to Saudi Arabia.
The platoon of 25 service members worked on a major multi-million-dollar construction project that included starting a new base that one or more of the Armed Forces will use in their endeavor against the war on terrorism. Nicole’s group was responsible for installing the fencing at the base.
“We ended up drilling somewhere around 4,000 holes in the sand to be able to place poles and concrete,” she explained. “You’re talking 10- to 12-hour workdays—some days we did 16 hours.” The platoon also pulled chain link fencing, capped the poles and installed both barbed and razor wire along the fencing.
“We got it done, and it was done very well,” Nicole said. “The project looks really good, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with that moving forward.”
Staying involved in church life was difficult while overseas. Kuwait offered some worship sites that Nicole could visit, but the messages were often taken out of context. She tried watching her home church’s messages online, but the internet wasn’t always up to par.
Nicole’s time at LBC allowed her to cultivate a practice that helped her immensely while overseas—prayer life.
“Just being rooted in my faith and being able to open my Bible and read it myself and being able to talk to people around me—I took a different view on God while on deployment because it wasn’t like, ‘Ok, here’s a pastor, here’s a message,’ but it was me diving into the Bible, me reading Scripture and me listening to the Holy Spirit.”