From College to Combat: A Veteran Speaks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at ESU

Posted by: Valentina Caval on September 26, 2013, No Comments

Purple Heart recipient Bryan Adams will speak at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) on Tuesday, October 8, to share his emotional story, which is filled with personal and candid moments as he transitioned from life as a soldier in a combat setting to civilian life as a college student.

Adams will address his struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at 7 p.m. in the Keystone Room of the Center for Hospitality Management. As he shares his experiences, he hopes it will help others cope with emotional trauma and allow them to see how those challenges can result in positive change to one’s everyday life afterward.

Adams was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II with the First Infantry Division from February 2004-2005 as an Army Sniper. In 2008, he was shot during an ambush while on patrol in Tikrit, Iraq, and was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery and injuries sustained in combat.

Upon his return to the U.S., he began experiencing outbursts of anger, reckless behaviors, alcohol abuse and depression; he was not prepared for how difficult the transition would be to life on a college campus, nor was he equipped to handle his struggles with PTSD.

Now, Adams is an advocate for veteran’s rights, and spreads his compelling story of emotional trauma, stigma, alcohol abuse and his recovery from PTSD with active military, veterans, civilians, and college students. His message reinforces the importance of seeking professional help and that one can recover from trauma.

After his return from Iraq, Adams graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He currently is the Veterans and Military Services Coordinator for the Rutgers University System, a public speaker with Active Minds and a media spokesperson for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

Adams is featured as the soldier in the IAVA video “Alone” on YouTube (see announcing the first online social network exclusively for the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This program is arranged through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at ESU. Co-sponsors of this program include: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Student Activity Association; the Division of Student Affairs; University Health Services; the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Office; and the Student Enrollment Center-ESU Student Veterans Center.

Adams will be available to ESU student veterans at the ESU Student Veteran Center earlier that day for an informal Meet-and-Greet session.

The event is free to all ESU students, staff, faculty, administration and the community. For more information, contact Linda Van Meter, assistant professor of counseling and psychological services, at 570-422-3277.