Air Force Veteran turned nurse reflects on her years of service, love for helping others

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — This Veterans Day we here at WNCT want to take the time to honor all who have served our country. Eastern North Carolina has proven to be home to many of these brave individuals.

One local woman is continuing to serve her country even after her time in the military. She’s a local veteran turned nurse. Continually serving her country as many of us saw the resilience of our medical professionals especially over these last couple of years.

“Look for your passion, who will help you get up in the morning and get out the door,” said Audrey Lee Webb, a Staff Nurse III Vidant Medical Center.

Those words of wisdom come from a veteran who continues to serve her country. Audrey Webb, better known as Lee, served in the air force for eight years and now as a nurse for more than 20.

“I work on a cardiovascular unit. So my patients could come in because they have some type of mass in their chest, they have poor blood flow, or they have to have heart surgery,” said Lee.

Much of that work to continually help others started back in 1987 when Lee decided she would join the Air Force.

“I started at Langley Air Force Base, which is in Hampton, Virginia. And then I went to Kunsan, Korea for a year, Bitburg, Germany and then I ended up in Altus, Oklahoma,” said Lee.

Being a woman in the airforce she recounts some moments that proved alarming for her. She reflects on a time she was sent to Saudi Arabia in a group and was only one of two women. That’s when misinformation came in about women possibly not being allowed in the country, which they later found out was not true.

“Once we got there, and you can imagine it took a long time to arrive, someone ran up to us and they said women hide, we don’t know if you’re supposed to in the country. Hide where? So that was scary.”

Through the help of her G-I Bill benefits, she was able to get her nursing degree from Pitt Community College so she could begin to serve her country in an all-new way.

“There are a lot of people who get the GI Bill, it turns out very few people actually use it. So I was glad that I was something I invested in, I actually use every penny of it while I pursued my nursing degree,” said Lee.

When asked how she feels moving from her role in the Air Force to as a nurse she says she is happy to feel a similar level of respect but that the transition for herself and others isn’t always easy.

“When I came home, I had to go to the health department because that was what I could afford,” said Lee. “It was a big transitional period.”

Saying she wants everyone to be sure and thank those service members in their lives.

You never know what someone experience, they may have lost their best friend on the field,” said Lee.

Lee tells me her father, one of her brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews are also in the armed forces or have served, proving that their love for this country, well it’s the family business.

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