By AMY GUCKEEN TOLSONJanuary 30, 2013
She may be nearly 70, but as far as Carolyn Nation is concerned, her career with the Army is far from over.
In fact, 27 years into her civil service career, Nation feels she's got more to offer than ever, having just completed her master's degree at Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Ala.
"Just because I'm the age I am doesn't mean I need to be put out to pasture quite yet," said Nation, a management analyst assistant for the Aviation and Missile Command. "I'm going to just keep going. I'm healthy. Why quit now?"
It was a little over a year ago that the Redstone Rocket was reporting the then 68-year-old had completed her bachelor's in organizational leadership in October 2011. Not one to sit on her laurels, Nation did herself one better, immediately pursuing her master's in the same field.
"You can do anything that you set your mind to do, not just one thing, but any number of things," Nation said of her outlook on life. "You can achieve your goals."
Nation proved that Oct. 19, 2012, as she walked the stage once again at Orange Beach and was conferred her degree. Even though it meant a year's worth of online courses in challenging subjects, such as statistics and quantitative analysis for management, that were at times hard to wrap her head around, the hard work was all worth it for Nation. She simply wants to further her own career, and saw advancing her education as a method for doing so.
"I just saw everybody else going up the corporate ladder, so I thought why can't I?" Nation said. "Regardless of whether I have a job or not, I want to advance just like the rest of you, so why not take advantage of those opportunities?"
While she was busy focusing on her education, others began to look to her for inspiration, telling her every day that she is a living example that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, no matter what your age.
"I have succeeded in my education and I think I have accomplished a lot with all the adversities and everything else that comes into your life," said Nation, whose husband died in 2010. "You really have to be persistent. If you don't keep up, you don't get as much success as you want."
Even though she won't pursue her doctorate, Nation has no plans of retiring anytime soon, but rather, plans on putting what she's learned in the classroom to use in her cubicle for years to come.
"I like to stay busy," said Nation, who enjoys baking, sewing and attending flea markets in her spare time. "I'm not an idle person. If you're idle, that's the devil's workshop. That's not my makeup."