Yesha Callahan

Homeless Air Force Vet Is Now A Harvard Student

Five years ago, Alicia Watkins was homeless and living out of her car. The Air Force veteran, who suffers from PTSD and brain/spinal injuries, appeared on Oprah and discussed her story. Even though Watkins was homeless herself, she was also benevolent. At one point she gave up her living arrangements so a homeless mother with three kids had a place to sleep.

But now life has changed for Watkins.

Although her health issues are still problematic, Watkins is now a student at Harvard University. Her goal is to be able to help other veterans in similar situations through the Wounded Warriors Program.

“I wanted to be able to care for wounded warriors, and so I decided to apply to Harvard University,” she says. “In 2012, I was accepted. My college expenses are paid by the G.I. Bill.”

“I have traumatic brain injury, I have post-traumatic stress disorder, I have a spinal cord injury,” she says. “It’s a hard road. I would love to be able to work today. I have offers, I have people that are willing to help me, but they all have to take a backseat to my health. As much as I want to work, I have to acknowledge that I am a casualty of war.”

Watkins also revealed in her video for Oprah: Where Are They Now? that she’s also engaged!

Image Credits: OWN

  1. March 27, 2015 - Reply

    I sure wish her the best. I am pretty sure that if she can make it through Harvard, she will be able to hold down a job.

  2. March 27, 2015 - Reply

    What an inspiring story. The odds were against Ms. Watkins and now she is going to Harvard and going to be a help to Wounded Warriors. Great job !!

  3. March 27, 2015 - Reply

    Sister Alicia Watkins should be congratulated on overcoming so much in her life. She has a strong spirit and she wants to assist other veterans in a positive way. Veterans certainly teach us that regardless of our views on war, we have to fight for justice (and we ought to promote constructive solutions to our multifaceted problems).

  4. March 27, 2015 - Reply

    I admire her for her resilience and courage to tell her story and not be deterred by circumstances. Congrats and much continued success to this sister

  5. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    Thank you for your service airman. Your story is more than inspiring.

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