This college freshman says that preparing for classes was as nerve-wracking as preparing for combat.

Most college freshmen are 18 or 19 when they begin classes but former Navy SEAL, James Hatch from Branford is now a Yale University freshman at the age of 52.

Hatch joined the Navy right out of high school according to nbcconnecticut.com. and eventually became a SEAL during his 26-year career with the Navy. In 2009 he was seriously wounded when he was sent on a mission to locate Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who had gone AWOL.

After 18 surgeries along with a nasty case of post-traumatic stress disorder, Hatch's life began to fall apart. He began drinking and doing drugs and attempted suicide. What saved his life was knowing he needed help and he got that help through professional counseling and his family.

Through a program for nontraditional students who have had their educational careers interrupted, he was admitted to Yale in their Directed Studies program. Hatch attends classes with his PTSD service dog, Mina who has already become a big hit with his fellow students.

Jimmie Hatch's first book titled, 'Touching the Dragon' was released in June of 2018 and tells of his emotional turmoil and recovery from being at war.