September 2013 - He was this close. Jeffrey Adams, U.S. Army (retired), was just four credit hours away from earning a degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University (LSU). But instead of walking across the graduation stage wearing a cap and gown, he chose to walk the roadsides of Baghdad, Iraq wearing body armor and a helmet, looking for improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
He found one. Or, one found him. After nearly 30 surgeries, Jeff did ultimately make his way across the stage on crutches at LSU to pick up that diploma. Jeffrey finds he and his fellow Wounded Warriors take strength from their experiences. "Don't look at us as having a disability," he says. "Look at what we've been through and see the advantage we have because we've been mentally toughened. Some of the things a lot of us have to do just to get out of the house in the morning are tougher than anything most people will have to do the entire day."