Profile of Courage Jon Lee
U.S. Army, 2001-2005
After 9/11 and in his thirties, Jonathon decided to answer the call of duty. Before he was deployed to Iraq, his drill instructor said, “Some of you are going to Iraq, some of you to Afghanistan, and some of you are going to die.” Each time he had a near brush with death, he felt lucky to not be counted among those in the third category of his drill instructor’s prediction.
Shortly after returning home, his luck took a turn for the worse and he was dealing with his wounds of war. He spent more than three years homeless in Northern California before seeking help.
He heard about Swords to Plowshares’ Transitional Housing Program, which allowed him to live in supportive housing for over a year and receive the treatment he needed to begin coping with his post-traumatic stress. Jonathon graduated from the program in 2010 and has since moved into an apartment in Oakland.
With help from the GI Bill, Jon is currently pursuing his degree in criminal justice and hopes to give back to the community once he graduates.