Age: 30 | Washington, D.C.
U.S. Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2006-2007
Director, Veterans Program, American Council on Education
Three weeks after coming home from her second tour in Iraq, Meg Mitcham found herself packing her bags and heading to Pennsylvania State University for her first day of class. The U.S. Army medic thought the toughest of times were behind her but the pressures of transitioning from soldier to college student caught up with her.
As graduation neared, Meg began to drink more heavily. Flashbacks increased and nightmares kept her up at night, and she found herself fighting to get control of post-traumatic stress
. One night, Meg came home from the bar, startled by the sight of lights on in her apartment, she called the police. Meg told the operator that she believed insurgents were in her apartment waiting for her. That night, she went to a local VA Medical Center
to seek help.
Over the course of the next few months, VA helped Meg piece her life back together. She received counseling and treatment and went on to graduate from Penn State. Today, Meg works with colleges and universities around the country to help them understand the student veteran experience.
“I recognized the importance of getting help and the importance of the support that was surrounding me,” Meg said. “All of us are surrounded by people—some we don’t even know—who want us to succeed and will help get us there.”
Watch Meg's video