Petraeus Launches Return to Public Life USC speech marks first major appearance since scandal By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Mar 26, 2013 4:53 AM CDT Updated Mar 26, 2013 6:22 AM CDT 6 comments Comments In this July 18, 2011 photo, Gen. David Petraeus salutes during a changing of command ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq, File) (Newser) – David Petraeus has been keeping a low profile since stepping down as CIA director last fall over the Paula Broadwell affair, but a speech at the University of Southern California tonight will mark his return to public life. At an event honoring veterans, Petraeus will apologize for the circumstances that led to his resignation and stress the importance of helping veterans and their families, reports the New York Times, which has been provided with an advance text of his speech. Acquaintances say Petraeus supported President Obama's nomination of John Brennan as his successor and has been weighing job offers from academia and the financial sector over the last few months. "There is often a view that, because an individual was a great soldier, he or she will naturally do well in and transition effortlessly to the civilian world," Petraeus will say in tonight's speech. "In reality, the transition from military service to civilian pursuits often is quite challenging." He will close with a return to his own circumstances, vowing to move forward in a way "consistent with the values to which I subscribed before slipping my moorings and, as best as possible, to make amends to those I have hurt and let down."