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brooke jackson kahn

U.S. Army
She's the Veteran

It was something of an unofficial tradition for the men in Brooke's family to join the military, while the women became nurses. As a result, Brooke was surrounded by people who put their needs aside to serve others, and this inspired her to do the same: combining the two traditions by enlisting in the U.S. Army as a combat medic. So began an eight-year journey that led to her becoming a medical officer, and later, a physician's assistant.

As a combat medic during Operation Iraqi Freedom, her duties ranged from providing battlefield medicine and emergency care to conducting medical exams at local clinics. Brooke was also the main instructor for Combat Lifesaver Certification: a course that taught over 500 soldiers the necessary medical skills for deployment. Throughout her career, she never shied away from helping a fellow soldier, a trait which earned her several Army Achievement Medals.

This road was not without its challenges, however. "I could barely do a push-up when I went to basic training," Brooke says. She began to internalize the doubts other people had of her, and thought maybe she wouldn't be able to make it through. But then, she was put in charge of the platoon, and was the last one standing after a demanding physical exercise. Reflecting on that moment, Brooke says, "I think that was very much a turning point for me of knowing I can do hard things, I can do this, I can be a part of something bigger."

After leaving the Army, Brooke saw firsthand how little research is dedicated to the mental health of women who have served. "While there is a big lockdown for 90 days when you get back, for the women, they get back and they're told: get back to work. You don't get any time to decompress, you don't get any time to transition." This firsthand knowledge led Brooke to found She's the Veteran: an organization dedicated to improving the mental health of female veterans by offering comprehensive support service, activities, advocacy, and research.

She's the Veteran currently serves the 45,000 female veterans in South Carolina, but Brooke isn't stopping there. Ultimately, she hopes to expand nationwide and improve research, diagnosis, and treatment for mental health in women who have served. "I do everything I can to give back. And when it comes down to it, She's the Veteran is very much my heart, my passion project, my goals. I'll do everything I possibly can to continue pushing this rock up the mountain."

Learn more about She's the Veteran and how they're serving women at

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