Veteran graduate completes educational mission following leave of absence to evacuate female Afghan soldiers

Rebekah Edmondson

In the fall of 2021, the United States formally withdrew its forces from Afghanistan. For U.S. Army veteran Rebekah Edmondson, this event had a personal impact. She had just begun her second year of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, and found it impossible to focus on her studies. Her thoughts were with the Afghan women who had served with her during several deployments to Afghanistan and now could be in serious danger.   

She decided to take a leave of absence from her graduate studies, and began working around the clock with fellow veterans from her former unit to evacuate their Afghan counterparts trapped in the country. 

Read more of Rebekah’s story