TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)-- A combat Navy Seal veteran with PTSD has a new mission in academia.

James Hatch served in the military for more than 25 years. But his service ended in 2009 when he was hurt during a rescue mission.

[WATCH: Combat veteran with PTSD now attends Yale]

Now, the 52-year-old has a new mission, attending Yale as a freshman.

In the military, Hatch saved lives overseas for more than two decades, his service didn't come without a cost. He was severely injured while on a mission to rescue Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier who walked off his post. "I had significant head injuries," Hatch said.

After Hatch's physical recovery, Hatch had a mental battle at home with PTSD. "I put a gun in my mouth in front of my wife," Hatch said. "The cops came to the house and took me to the hospital and some of my friends who were with me when I got wounded said 'hey you need to take care of yourself.'" 

Now, Hatch speaks to others about PTSD, head injuries and even the importance of taking care of veteran K9 dogs. "My goal is to create a situation where people can talk about stuff that is difficult," Hatch said.

Hatch said is newest mission may be his hardest. Going to an ivy league school. With his service dog Mina by his side, Hatch will be in class, he said, just to be a better person.

Hatch is speaking at a fundraiser for the Brain Injury Alliance on Saturday.


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