Staff Sgt. Timothy Edwards

"I'm going to dominate your environment" 01:19

When Staff Sgt. Timothy Edwards returned home from Iraq in 2004, he said, he was trying to find his place in life, and employment.

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Staff Sgt. Timothy Edwards is an instructor at Sunburst Youth Academy CBS News

"It's kind of a struggle once you return from war," he said. Edwards, 47, found out about Sunburst Youth Academy.

"And something just hit me, and I said, 'Wow, I can do that.'" he said. He's now helping high school dropouts-turned-cadets get back on the right track, with a mix of discipline and tough love.

"We are going to establish dominance right from the very beginning," he said. "I'm going to dominate your environment."

All his cadets have to do, he said, is breathe. He'll do the thinking, controlling everything around them, until they get on track.