Founder & Journalist

Thomas J. Brennan, Founder

Thomas J. Brennan, Founder

Thomas is a father, husband, and the founder of The War Horse — his passion is writing about war, trauma, and loss.

Prior to studying at Columbia University, he was a sergeant in the Marine Corps and served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the First Battalion, Eighth Marines. He is the recipient of a Purple Heart and numerous journalism awards for his features and investigative storytelling. Thomas is the co-author of Shooting GhostsA U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War.

Awards and recognition

2017 — Excellence in Features Award for Integrated Storytelling, Society for Features Journalism 
2017 — Ochberg Fellow, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma
2016 — Top 100 Influential Veterans List, HillVets
2016 — Nonprofit Leadership Award, Take Point Fellowship The Atlantic Council
2015 — Stabile Investigative Journalism Fellow, Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism
2014 — American Legion Fourth Estate Award
2013 — Dart Award Honorable Mention, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

Speaking Engagements

2017 — High-Risk Investigations, Logan Symposium at U.C. Berkeley
2017 — Adversarial Journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
2016 — Muckraking Veterans Affairs, Investigative Reporters & Editors Conference
2016 — Trauma Reporting, University of Missouri Graduate School of Journalism
2016 — Investigating Armies & Spies, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
2014 — The Failing State of Mental Health in the Military, Red Sox Foundation
2014 — Post-Traumatic Growth, Semper Fi Fund
2013 — Moral Injury, Neiman Foundation at Harvard University


2015 — Masters of Science in Investigative Journalism, Columbia University
2014 — Bachelors of Arts in Journalism, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
2012 — Associates of Science in Business Management, Park University
2003 — Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina

Published work

Center for investigative reporting:

        An Attack From Within: Male Marines Ambush Women in Uniform - March 4, 2017

Vanity Fair: 

        The Painstaking Recovery of a Medal of Honor Marine - November 11, 2016

The New York Times:

Unsettled at Home, Veterans Volunteer to Fight ISIS - March 11, 2015
The Curious Draw of the Battlefield - March 11, 2015
Marines Remember Falluja, 10 Years Later - November 10, 2014
Coping With Retirement - February 20, 2014
My Suicide Attempt and My Struggle To Get Help - November 5, 2013
Should Gun Restrictions Be Placed on Veterans With PTSD? - April 26, 2013
Remembering a Silent Success in Afghanistan - March 1, 2013
Women In Combat? Some Marines React - January 29, 2013
A Veteran's Plea to President Obama - January 22, 2013
Ending a Life, and a Part of Yourself, for the First Time - December 14, 2012
The Brotherhood of Combat - December 6, 2012
From Battlefield Injury Into a Functioning Disability System - November 20, 2012
Returning From War to a Checkup Full of Holes - October 9, 2012
In the Military, The Drinking Can Start on Day 1 - October 1, 2012
Going Back to War, Trading a Gun for a Pen - September 24, 2012
Writing to Calm and Compose the Injured Brain - August 24, 2012
A Year on, Marines Divided on Don't Ask, Don't Tell - August 6, 2012
Living With P.T.S.D, and Allowing Myself to Get Help - June 22, 2012
From a Marine's Side of the Lens - December 29, 2011