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      Veteran Louden GRADUATES FRESNO STATE, Enters Nursing
 Six years ago, a hot Middle Eastern sun beat down on Erin Louden and his U.S. Air Force crew as they fueled a supersonic B-1 bomber in Qatar. That was Louden’s world then. But things change.
This March in a busy emergency room at a Fresno hospital, he sat beside a gurney and guided an IV needle into the vein of a dehydrated man in his 70s.
Louden’s bridge from Qatar to the ER came through the Veterans Edu- cation Program at Fresno State. “I didn’t think I could get into Fresno State,” he says. “But the people in the program were instrumental helping me regain my confidence about school. The instructors were amazing and devoted to us, and they laid the foundation for me to come to college as fully-prepared full-time student.”
Erin Louden
Louden – an 18-year veteran of the Air Force – graduated from Fresno State in May with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. It’s an accomplishment he never could imagine when he was younger. At Buchanan High School in Clovis, he was the kind of student who’s intelligent but doesn’t apply himself, and he had no clear plans or goals upon graduation in 1995. He took a few courses at a community college and then enlisted at age 20. “I knew the Air Force would give me time to find myself and in the meantime give me a career,” Louden says. He became a specialist in aircraft fuels, serving at bases in Alaska, Nebraska, Delaware, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in central Asia. He also worked as a recruiter in New York and then as the train- er for other recruiters in Southern California and Arizona.
  18 California State University, F R E S N O

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