Flight nurse devoted to helping others overcomes adversity
Within the walls of the Gateway Club at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, decades-worth of timeless military memorabilia are displayed as a witness to the courage and dedication of countless service members. It is a place where people come together to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of our service members. On August 30, 2023, family, friends, and colleagues gathered to commemorate the retirement of Lt. Col. (ret.) Dana Duerr. Prior to becoming a patient with the Airman Medical Transition Unit (AMTU), she served as the Senior Program Manager of the Nurse Corps Education and Training Program at the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency.
Duerr, accompanied by a Wounded Warriors volunteer, sat in her wheelchair, donned in her service dress uniform, and connected to a breathing device during the ceremony. In the front row sat her family, among them was her 24-year-old daughter, Mikaela, elegantly dressed in a white blouse adorned with blue flowers, green dress pants, and golden butterfly earrings that complimented her golden hair. For both Duerr and Mikaela, this ceremony was bittersweet; marking the culmination of 29 years of service filled with long days, late nights, and numerous sacrifices. However, amidst all the changes and challenges, one constant remained — their support for each other. As Duerr expressed her gratitude to her daughter, Mikaela smiled gently, tears slowly traced down her cheek.