News: Combat Logistics Battalion 26 doc strives for greatness
Story by Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels
USS SAN ANTONIO - Brought up in a self-described normal American family with two sisters, a mom, and a dad, Seaman Nicholas C. Covington, a Gadsdem, Tenn., native, and corpsman with Combat Logistics Battalion 26, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has always been an outgoing and sociable person, capable of setting goals and executing them to the best of his ability.
Graduating from Crockett County High School in 2009, Covington had a very fulfilling high school experience with multiple extracurricular activities.
"I played for the varsity tennis team," said Covington. "It's hard to explain, but I enjoyed it more than any other sports I played. I enjoyed the fact there wasn't a whole team running around. It was just you against someone else – sometimes two if you were playing doubles."
One of the more notable accomplishments of his high school career was the fact he took certified nursing assistant courses and joined his high school's Health Occupations Students of America club, eventually becoming the president of his school's club and leading the bio-medical debate team to a triumphant year.
"We competed in regional, state and national competitions," he said. "We placed first in regional and first in state, but unfortunately didn't place in nationals."
His attraction to the medical field was supported by the desire of setting a foundation for a strong future. With his passion for and success in the medical field, and having many close relatives in the Navy, he decided to join the family legacy, enlisting Oct. 28, 2009.
"I decided to try it, and it called to me, which is why I am a corpsman now," said Covington. "I have been in for three years now, and I just enlisted for another four. Eventually, I want to finish my bachelor's degree, and go to medical school to become an emergency room physician or get commissioned as a medical officer in the Navy." Instead of attending college outright, he used the Navy to help him grow up and mature.
"He is and always has been an extremely hard worker," said Lance Cpl. Brandon T. Henderson, a Madison, N.C., native, and CLB-26 bulk fuel specialist noncommissioned officer in charge. "He always has the answer if I need help with something."
Preparing to embark on his second deployment with the 26th MEU, Covington discussed one of his fondest memories from his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.
"I had a wounded warrior at the combined aid station at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, who took shrapnel from a pressure plate damaging his legs," he said. "I was doing his drips and changes every single day. He would specifically ask for me. One, he said it didn't hurt as much when I did it, and two, he enjoyed my company. I treated him like he wanted to be treated – like a human being, not a cripple needing special care. The day he left Afghanistan to go home, I was sitting there getting ready to smoke a cigarette. As I was getting ready to light it, I looked up as he was walking up to me, off his crutches, and held up a lighter and lit it for me. When I questioned what he was doing, all he said was 'thanks.' I will always remember that because he walked all the way across camp to make sure he got to sincerely tell me thanks. I never had that before."
Covington went on to say he was thanking him for caring about people as a whole. The wounded warrior didn't feel Covington was doing it because it was his job, but because he actually cared about the person. He told Covington the impact he made on him and the amount of compassion he showed helped him get through that unfortunate period of his life.
"Covington has always been the person to go to if you need help," said Lance Cpl. Sam D. Selder, a Wappingers Fall, N.Y., native and bulk fuel specialist with CLB-26. "Whether it is a medical issue or a personal one, he is always willing to help unconditionally. He has always been that kind of person. If anyone is having a bad day, he is always the one to cheer them up."
He spends his spare time working on his car, showing it at car shows with his car club, Cups and Cones. He also enjoys going to concerts with friends on the weekends and playing his acoustic guitar. In the future, he plans on putting together a band with a few other people from his unit.
Covington’s dedication to his work, the medical field, and the Navy, promises a bright future ahead as he looks forward to continuing his career and his life with his wife to be.