Helen Bolland, 32, begins an access course five years after being medically discharged from the RAF after experiencing paranoia, insomnia and nightmares following her deployment as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2005. She hopes later to do a law degree.
Ms Bolland, fom Girvan, South Ayrshire, had been heading for a high-powered RAF career, having learnt to speak Russian as well as Pashto, but was forced to give up her job in 2008 when her condition did not improve.
Last night, she thanked the veterans' charity Help for Heroes, which found her a place at its Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick, North Yorkshire, where she received intensive support. There is a similar centre in Edinburgh.
"I have always known about Help for Heroes since it launched but I did not know I could use it. I thought it was for people still in the military or physically injured," she said.
The team at the Help for Heroes centres offer advice and support on money management, health, housing, employment and respite.