Heather with her full unit in the back of an army truck

Veterans Day Spotlight – Heather Hooks

When searching for “BULQ unboxing” on YouTube, it’s hard not to come across Heather Hooks. With years of eBay and Amazon experience under her belt, Heather knows a thing or two about reselling, and it shows. Her online business, Hooked On Pickin’, offers a wide variety of products, available via her own web store and on Amazon and eBay. Heather has also seen great success on social media, where her YouTube channel, Hooked On Pickin’ Amazon FBA Seller, boasts an impressive 43K+ subscribers. 

However, there’s another aspect of Heather’s life that is worthy of even more praise – her time in the military. From 1997 to 2004, Heather served in the Army Reserves as her unit’s only female diesel mechanic, ensuring all vehicles were in working condition. 

In honor of Veterans Day, we chatted with Heather about her time in the military, her biggest learnings from her service, and what civilians can do to recognize and thank those who have served our country. Read on to learn her story. 

You served in the Army Reserves from 1997-2004. Can you describe a bit more about your role and experience serving your country? 

I was a diesel mechanic in the Army Reserves. Thankfully, I only served during peacetime. I kept all of our vehicles in good working and serviceable condition. I worked on semis, hummers, and duce & halves (2 1/2 ton trucks).

I did many oil changes and greased many tractor-trailers. While in the military, I received training to defend my country and was qualified as a sharpshooter on the M16, and also was certified as our unit’s 50 caliber rifle user. I also was certified as a lightweight mechanic, although I usually worked on heavier machinery, like the Hemtt Wrecker (a military hauling vehicle).  Anyone who completes Basic level training is equipped to defend our country with combat skills and training.

Heather smiling underneath a Hummer

What is your favorite memory of your service?

My favorite memory of my service time was every 2 week annual training. Being in the military gives you a camaraderie that you can’t find anywhere else. I loved all my “big” brothers in the motor pool, as I was the only female mechanic. They were always there for me!

Heather with her unit

What is the most important life lesson you learned from your time in the military?

Work hard and respect everyone one around you.

Do you have any skills or experiences from your service that you’ve applied to your reselling business?

Hard work, mechanical aptitude, and how to fix broken items I receive in boxes to get more profit.

What would you say to veterans looking to start their own business, reselling or otherwise?

Go for it! In the military, you have been taught hard work and drive and determination.

For civilians looking to recognize Veteran’s Day, what are some good ways to honor those who have served?

I would say attend a public Veterans Day ceremony. I myself coordinate the local school assembly at the public school in my town. You can also get involved in your local American Legion and visit veterans in the VA (Veterans Affairs) hospital that might not have family to visit them. Also, write letters and start relationships with those around you who have served.

Heather's Full Platoon

To find the Veterans Affairs location closest to you, please visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs locator here: https://www.va.gov/find-locations

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