US Marine Danny Hitchings soon after he joined the armed forces
Danny with his unit during the Battle of An Nasiriyah, Iraq, in 2003
Danny (on the right) with fellow members of the MUM Student Government
Danny Hitchings — Former Marine Hopes to Help Veterans with PTSD
Danny Hitchings is a veteran of the US Marine Corps who served two tours in Iraq. Now he is president of the MUM Student Government, and his long-term goal is to teach the Transcendental Meditation® technique to veterans and others suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Danny grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and joined the Marines in 2002 at age 17. After four years of service, he left the armed forces but continued to struggle with PTSD. Danny used work to distract himself from his trauma and also joined a support group. Nevertheless, he found it difficult to enjoy life.
One day he saw an ad on Facebook for a “university that meditates” and decided to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique. He came to an MUM Visitors Weekend in 2011, but due to a family commitment he wasn’t able to enroll.
After studying drafting and design at ITT Technical Institute in Kentucky for three years, he finally enrolled at MUM in the fall of 2014. He is graduating in 2017 with a major in Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM and a minor in media and communications.
“TM got rid of a lot of stress in my life,” he said. “It helps me maintain focus on what I am trying to do. My life is definitely better than it has ever been. I am focused on what I want in life, and I don’t see any reason why I can’t get there.”
Danny learned the TM-Sidhi® program at the first opportunity and also started a veterans’ support organization on campus. The TM and TM-Sidhi programs have significantly improved his PTSD, and he has become passionate about reaching out to other veterans to help them with their recovery.
Danny’s mission is to attend the Transcendental Meditation® Teacher Training Course and teach the TM technique to people with PTSD, including veterans, prisoners, police officers, and others. He would also like to inspire more veterans to attend MUM, where they not only receive an education but also relieve the stress they accumulated in combat.