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Nursing instructor remembers her time in the U.S. Air Force

00:14:35

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Molly Showalter TSC’s Licensed Vocational Nursing instructor is a U.S. Airforce veteran. In this photo she had just earned her first U.S. Airforce commendation medal.
  
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Texas Border Business

BROWNSVILLE, Texas –Molly Showalter was in love with the boy next door and it was his love for his country and willingness to serve that also inspired her to enlist.

The U.S. Air Force veteran and Texas Southmost College Licensed Vocational Nursing instructor enlisted in 1975 and served four years alongside her husband of 45 years.

“It’s all a blur, from getting married and enlisting to basic training,” said Showalter. “I never felt college was for me, so when my dad suggested we both enlist, I jumped on it. It was my chance to serve my country.”

While in the Air Force, the Pennsylvania native served on the rifle squad and worked as a central supply material specialist moving and transporting aircraft parts.

“We enlisted about four months after Vietnam ended,” said Showalter. “Fortunately, we never got deployed for combat, but it was still great being a part of something bigger than ourselves and keeping our country safe, even during a time of peace.”

The couple was given the opportunity to be stationed at the same military bases, living in Kansas and Lubbock, with their biggest adventure being in Korea.

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“We got to live in Korea for 13 months and it was a great experience for both of us,” she said. “Everywhere we lived we made such good friends and that was the best part. The Air Force was a family.”

Showalter said the overall experience helped shape who she is today and changed the path of her future.

After leaving the military in 1979 and returning to Pennsylvania, Showalter was able to use her G.I. Bill benefits to go to college and become a nurse.

In 1982, Showalter earned an associate degree in Nursing and went on to earn bachelor and master degrees.

She worked as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse before making the transition to teaching in 1999.

“The rush of the hospital can take a toll, so I decided it was my turn to teach the future generations of nursing,” said Showalter.

Showalter’s teaching career began at a North Texas college, before making her way to Brownsville and TSC to help care for her aging father.

“I’m so fortunate to have found TSC,” she said. “It has really been a blessing. The last seven years of my career here has been rewarding. It’s hard to believe that at one point in my life I didn’t think college was for me.”

She added that her goal in teaching is to continue preparing those who are ready for and desire this life-changing career.

“For me, the last 45 years of my life have been a whirlwind trip,” said Showalter. “I’ve loved every bit of it and I’ll always be proud to know that we served our country.”

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