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Amanda Wagner ’09, Samantha Hayes ’09 and Dan Cluskey '09 are commissioned into the Air Force by Ret. Lt. Col. Mark Cluskey ’75 and Staff Sgt. Dan Harvoth.
By Justin Phelps ’05
Dan Cluskey ’09 didn’t steer far from familiar paths in choosing a career.
In fact, he picked a middle road.
Dan was commissioned into the Air Force at the Department of Nursing’s Senior Recognition Ceremony on Friday with fellow graduates Amanda Wagner ’09 and Samantha Hayes ’09. The ceremony was preformed by Dan’s father, Ret. Lt. Col. Mark Cluskey ’75. His mother, Dr. Molly Drew Cluskey ’77, is associate chairperson of the Department of Nursing.
“He’s taking both paths to make a new path of his own,” Molly said. “We’re thrilled that he’s found a calling in nursing, and we’re excited he’s decided to serve his country.”
Although he was an engineering major until second semester of his freshman year, Dan said his career choice isn’t a big surprise. “As I was growing up, my mom was a nurse, and now she’s teaching nursing, so it was always a part of my life,” said Dan. “The other part of my life was traveling around, going to different Air Force bases. I’d say it’s more coincidence that I combined the two, but it wasn’t a coincidence that I chose one or the other. It’s just crazy how they both came together like this.”
Dan will begin his service as second lieutenant in Montgomery, Ala. for five weeks. Then, he will be stationed at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where he’ll be a nurse at a base hospital. “The opportunities I get with the Air Force and nursing are fantastic,” he said. “My long-term goal is to advance my career in the Air Force, return to school to work on an advanced degree in nursing, and see where it goes from there. I’ll either stay in the Air Force or further my career as a civilian nurse.”