Tuesday, March 24, 2020

"In Our Own Voices" is a photo and story gallery celebrating diversity and the voices that make the UNH Manchester community a wonderful place to live, learn and grow. Their stories are our story—and we are proud to tell it. Jeremy Clague '20 was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps when a major head injury ended his military career. With his service dog, Buddy, by his side, Clague is now pursuing a neuropsychology degree. He shares his story below.

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I never thought college would be in my future. I was not a good student academically in high school, and I had dreams of joining the United States Marine Corps. Fifteen days after graduating from Pinkerton Academy, I left for boot camp. I served for seven years in the Marines, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, but my military career was cut short. Major head injuries from an explosion in Afghanistan and a hit-and-run motorcycle accident in California led to my early retirement in 2013.

"With Buddy by my side, I finally felt in control."

I felt lost and without a purpose, suffering from multiple traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. That all changed when I met Buddy, my service dog. He completely turned my recovery process around. With Buddy by my side, I finally felt in control. In 2016, ten years removed from high school, I decided to try college. I went to an open house at UNH Manchester, and instantly had dreams of pursuing the field of neuropsychology.

Because of my prior academic record, I had to prove myself. I enrolled at Manchester Community College and hit the ground running, eventually being chosen to represent my class as the student speaker at MCC commencement. Now, my dream to pursue my education at UNH is a reality. I have a purpose again, and I’m looking forward to continuing my journey in the field of neuropsychology.

Photographer: 
David Vogt | Freelance Photographer