A record number of military men and women are moving from the battlefield into the classroom.
In the last 4 years, more than a million veterans and their families have enrolled in colleges.
25 year old Tom La Marr is part of a growing number of veterans who are going back to school as they struggle to return to civilian life.
“They give you a one-way plane ticket to wherever you came from and then you have to hit the ground running,” said La Marr.
La Marr fought two tours in Iraq and still suffers from a shoulder injury and post traumatic stress disorder.
Benefits from the G.I. bill enable him to attend UCLA for free.
In 2001, about 421,000 service members and their families used the G.I. bill to go back to school.
With more troops returning from overseas, the number more than doubled to 945,000 last year.
Pasadena City College professor Harold Martin teaches a transition course just for troops.
They explore everything from financial aid to depression.
As a Vietnam veteran, Martin understands the struggles.
"We as a country, we wrote checks that these men and women had to cash with their sacrifices," said Martin.
La Marr now has one more reason to pursue his education.
He and his wife are expecting their first child, a daughter.
La Marr works part-time at the veterans resource center on campus, and hopes to become a clinical psychologist for the VA.
He wants to help other veterans get back on their feet.
At the height of the war in Afghanistan, there were 100,000 troops.
That's now down to 48,500.
In Iraq, troop levels reached as high as 164,000 in 2007.
Now only 150 military personnel remain.