November 18, 2019
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Changing Directions: Becoming a U.S. Air Force Nurse


I am Captain Petra Holloway. I’m a labor
and delivery nurse. I was a migrant worker growing up, I remember just being out in the field, you know, picking tomato, bell pepper. It was hard I didn’t want to
work that kind of hard life for the rest of my life. One day my dad comes up to me, and I’m about 16 years old, I’m sitting on top of a bucket, tearing
up the tomato plant, he goes “Petrita, what’s wrong?” and I said “I hate this life,
daddy! We’re just working so hard, you know, we’re in the hot sun all day” and he’s
like “you don’t like this life?” and I said “No!” He goes “then do something about it.” I just remember everything clicking in at that point like, I want to do
something more, I want to be somebody, I just didn’t know how to. My mom was the one who told me, “what about the Air Force?” She goes “you can get college, you’ll live on your own.” So I looked at my mom, I said “okay. I’ll go talk to the Air Force recruiter.” He talked to me about all my options to come into the Air Force. So I
drove home and I told my mom “I’m going in.” She goes “good, now go tell your dad.” “Dad,” I said, “I need to sit down and talk to you, my mom sitting right across from
me. “What is it you want to talk to me?” “Well dad,” I go, “I’m going into the Air
Force.” And he goes “no you’re not! that’s a man’s job.” I said “well dad luckily, you
taught me how to do a man’s job. Work hard.” And my mom I could see her in the corner of my eye she’s like yes, you know, like she has that look. He’s like
“okay Petrita, this is what you want to do, if you want to join the Air Force,” he
goes “let’s do it.” After basic training, I trained to become
a medical admin, Medical Administrator. I deployed in ’03, it was in Qatar. During my
deployment, working with these nurses, I was like “I would love to do what they’re
doing right now, taking care of our troops. I want to be a nurse in the Air
Force.” I was amazed that this was really happening, that I was going to be not
just a nurse, but an officer. I am gonna be Lieutenant Holloway. Coming up where I did and growing up that hard life, you know, working in the field and wanting to
be somebody. I feel like I’m fulfilled. Now my father is so proud that, you know,
his daughter is in the Air Force and she’s a nurse. I went from not knowing
what I was going to do the next day to having a career. I don’t take it for
granted, I love what I do, and I love doing it in the Air Force

Tony wyaad

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Alexandra Hernandez Posted on October 7, 2018 at 5:23 am

    I’m doing this.

    Reply
  2. Felicia Almeida Posted on January 21, 2019 at 3:54 am

    This story is so pretty.

    Reply
  3. Felicia Almeida Posted on January 21, 2019 at 3:56 am

    I love it!!

    Reply
  4. Spencer Carr Posted on February 27, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Tough times create tough people! Way to go!

    Reply
  5. Oscar Ramos Posted on March 12, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Good for you.

    Reply
  6. whatever9042 Posted on July 15, 2019 at 2:26 am

    This is like the coolest story ever

    Reply
  7. fezzard Posted on August 1, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    I am a Philippine BSN nursing graduate, working as a medsurg nurse here in Texas, coming up 1 year as a nurse here now. my questions: is 1 year nursing experience enough to qualify as an air force nurse? and Am I eligible to be an Air force nurse even though I graduated in the philippines for a BSN?

    Reply
  8. Maria Corchado Posted on August 19, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    I’m a 12 year old Hispanic and my dream is to be a nurse for the Air Force and this story gave me soo much hope!

    Reply
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