David Peacock spent 23 years serving the United States Air Force, with multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas in the Middle East. After enduring several injuries on the battlefield during search and rescue missions, he was medically retired due to traumatic brain injury (TBI).
"I went from being the medic to being the patient," Peacock said. "I went through a lot of therapy - physical, occupational, and mental. It took a lot of support from my wife and family to get me through."
After getting to a certain point in his recovery, Peacock found himself asking the difficult question of, "what's next?"
"My doctors all felt that I needed to keep my brain active to help with the healing process from the TBI," he said. "I have always loved cars, and my wife and doctors thought it was a great idea for me to look at going to college."
“I have had a great experience with my time at MTC. The staff shows very strong support to the veterans who attend here.”
He made an appointment to meet with the director of MTC's Automotive Program and explained his situation.
"The program director let me know he would do whatever he could to help and encouraged me to enroll at MTC," said Peacock. "I have had a great experience with my time at MTC. The staff shows very strong support to the veterans who attend here. I’ve had great assistance from the disability office and having a veteran representative on site really helps with the transition for many of us.”
Midlands Technical College is the only college in South Carolina with a Veterans Affairs employee housed on campus. MTC also has a Veterans Success Center on the Beltline Campus for service members and veterans. Peacock used the Success Center as a place to relax, learn about veteran-oriented events, and to connect with fellow veterans.
"Many veterans deal with readjusting to being an individual and not part of a team," he explained. "Sometimes what you do in the military does not equate to civilian life. Some of the things that a normal young adult feels are important are not in the eyes of many veterans who have seen war, life, and death.”
"I look forward to dipping my toes into the automotive world and continuing my education,” said Peacock, who expects to graduate in May. “The one thing I know is that I have options, and MTC is willing to help me reach them or point me in the right direction."
Later this month, David Peacock will be honored at the MTC Honors Ceremony as the Outstanding Automotive Technology student for his high academic achievement and the leadership he shows as a student in the program.
MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames said MTC is fully committed to serving prospective, active, and past members of the armed services.
“At MTC, we recognize the importance of providing higher education and support services to military families and veterans," said Rhames. “We celebrate our student veterans."
Midlands Technical College is the largest provider of veterans’ educational benefits in South Carolina, and the college has several resources to help veterans succeed. Learn more about MTC's veteran resources.
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