Mount Nittany Health is grateful to employ many veterans who have nobly served in every branch of the United States Military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Space Force. Dwain Pegues, Clinical Educator, Professional and Organizational Development, served in the United States Marine Corps from 1976 – 1982.
“I joined the United States Marine Corps after completing my first semester at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan as a political science major,” said Dwain. “I spent the entirety of my commitment in the Marine Air Wing, so more often than not, I was stationed at various Naval/Marine air stations, and occasionally on foreign bases during military training exercises.”
Dwain was based in Iwakuni, Japan as part of the VMFA-214 Black Sheep Squadron. For his final duty assignment, he was part of President Carter’s Presidential Helicopter Squadron, and was based in Quantico, Virginia.
Dwain began his military service shortly after the United States left Vietnam in 1975. “Despite being surrounded by lots of advice NOT to go in, I joined anyway,” he said.
When he entered the military, Dwain had not given much thought to a career of helping or serving others. When he was stationed in California, there was a critical shortage of Navy Corpsmen to operate the base ambulance service, so he was ordered to drive the ambulance so a Corpsman could work in the back caring for sick and injured individuals. “After a few months of being an ambulance driver, I thought to myself, ‘I can do that,’ so I took an EMT course through East Los Angeles Community College, and the rest is history.”
“If my platoon/squadron could see that I am a nurse and that my job as an educator involves working with life-sized dolls, they would find it very amusing and have many laughs at my expense,” said Dwain.
Dwain feels like the military prepared him in many ways for his career. “When I was in the Marine Corps, one of the primary mantras was ‘Gung Ho’ which roughly means ‘work together and work in harmony,’” said Dwain. “After almost 50 years of work life, I have yet to find a more effective mission statement.”
Dwain really loves working in a community hospital that has a strong family environment. He said, “We pretty much all know each other, and we recognize we’re all here for the same purpose. We’re taking care of our family, friends, and neighbors. And recently, I needed help, and everyone took care of me like family, so thank you!”
Please join us in thanking Dwain for sharing his wonderful story with us, and for being such a wonderful part of our Mount Nittany Health family. Dwain, we are so grateful for the many ways you epitomize our values each day, and for contributing to our mission of “Healthier people, stronger community.”