U of A hosting Warrior Scholar Project for veterans

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - From the battlefield to the classroom, many may think service members wouldn't have any trouble with the transition, but a lot of them do.

That's why many of them heading to the University of Arizona, are now going through a different kind of boot camp to get ready.

Buster Miscusi is one of 12 enlisted military veterans hunkering down in a two week class at the U of A. For Buster this wasn't his plan when he joined the Marine Corps, he thought he would be there for the rest of his life.

"I got sick," said Miscusi. "I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and when you have an auto-immune disease you have to take medications for it. They won't let you serve anymore."

His dream shattered, he had to start looking for other options. A Google search led him to the Warrior Scholar Project, a boot camp for veterans to help prepare them for college.

"It's learning about being a student again. About how to interact in a classroom with professors and peers," said Miscusi. "It's a different environment then we're used to interacting."

Miscusi will be going to Columbia University in the fall, to study astrophysics and philosophy.

"For this program to give us the tools to realize that potential. It is a wonderful thing. I look forward to the next two weeks but I hope that afterward I get the opportunity to come back as a fellow," said Miscusi.

He is not on this journey alone though, Athena his service dog is helping him along the way.  Miscusi suffered a traumatic brain injury during a deployment to Afghanistan, and has some post-traumatic stress.

According to Miscusi, Athena makes it possible. "It's just like taking a medication, it's crucial to the patient's survival and quality of life," he said. "She helps me in that capacity."

The Warrior Scholar Project is paid for by donors and the universities that host the veterans.

Find more information on the project at https://www.warrior-scholar.org/

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