Broder, Judith

Dr. Judith Broder is a psychiatrist and the founder and executive director of The Soldier’s Project, a national nonprofit based in L.A. that provides free, unlimited counseling to veterans and their families. She is a 2011 recipient of The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.

Combat Veterans Returning -- To College -- But Can They Succeed?

By Dr. Judith Broder
The Soldier's Project

Picture, for a minute, that you’re a 20-year-old soldier who has just completed an 11-month tour in Afghanistan. You experienced heavy combat, were constantly alert to danger, and witnessed unspeakable violence.

Your return home, ironically, is also fraught with fear and anxiety. You try to adjust to “normal life,” but everything seems different – is different — now that you have flashbacks and the tell-tale signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This scenario is reality for many combat veterans, and the number of veterans struggling to get their lives back will dramatically increase in the months to come. As military operations end in Iraq and Afghanistan, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) estimates that 30,000 veterans will return to the state each year.