A former Navy Seal, 52-year-old James Hatch, compared entering the freshman class at Yale University to being as nerve-wracking as preparing for combat. Add in the fact that Hatch is not exactly a poster child for the typical Yale freshman, and you can pretty much understand his statement.
Hatch is the first to admit that he is somewhat limited when it comes to academia, be he said he feels that learning will make him a better person. He also thinks that with the life experience he has under his belt, he may be of some help or aid to his fellow younger students.
However, do not assume that his journey to Yale and the Ivy League was an easy straight forward one.
Hatch left high school to go straight into his military service. He became a Navy SEAL and has spent just short of 26 years as such. He has seen action in a variety of military hot spots, including Afghanistan. A mission in 2009, to find Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been discovered to have walked off his post, ended Hatch’s military career due to being severely wounded.
The story of Hatch’s life that followed that mission came to light during Bergdahl’s trial. Hatch suffered through eighteen surgeries after being wounded and then struggled with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), drinking, drugs, and even attempting suicide. But, after the help of professionals and family members, he is finding himself coping much better these days.
As for his entry into Yale, he was granted his admission after applying to become an Eli Whitney scholar. The program was created for those nontraditional students who wish to attend Yale, after having some sort of an interruption to their previous educational careers.
Hatch is currently enrolled in the Directed Studies program at Yale. This program teaches its student how to both analyze great texts and write persuasive and insightful essays. These may include those areas of philosophy, literature, historical, and political thought