An Army Couple with Medical Career Goals

Army veterans Bobby Hughes, of Hammonton, New Jersey, and his wife, Klea Hughes, a native of Columbus, Ohio, met in 2014 on a base in Kentucky. Soon after, Bobby was deployed to Afghanistan, serving on a high-pressure reconnaissance unit that reacted to “fallen angels,” as downed combat helicopters are known. “We only got called out if someone was already in trouble,” he said. “You had to go from sleeping to in your gear and on a helicopter in ten minutes.”

Bobby, who served until 2016, is working on majors in biology and health sciences and minors in psychology and chemistry. “I don’t have much free time,” he said, adding that he gets up at 4 a.m. each day to study. He maintains a 4.0 grade-point average and plans to pursue dual M.D./Ph.D. degrees with a focus on neuroscience.

Klea, who served as an Army medic for three years, enrolled in the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden in 2017. “This was the best nursing program in the area,” she said.

Klea and Bobby, who are on schedule to graduate in 2021, stay busy taking care of their 5-year-old daughter. Between classes, they are regulars in the veterans lounge in the Campus Center. Klea said she enjoys the community of Rutgers–Camden student-veterans, and that the on-campus veterans office is very supportive. “They are so helpful with anything you need,” she said.

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