International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Marital Journey Home: Narratives from Vietnam Veterans and Spouses on the Impact of Combat
Eleanor Krassen Covan, Rhonda Adams Smith, Ryan Patrick Gudyer

Abstract
Authors analyze life history narratives of Vietnam veterans and their spouses to study the impact of combat. Narratives indicate informants divide their lives into five stages: (1) Before Vietnam, (2) During Vietnam, (3) Wild-men Running, (4) Reconnecting, and (5) Understanding the Experience. After Vietnam combat, most veteran relationships with women tended to fall into two 'ideal types’—those formed with women willing to share sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and those with women who conformed to more traditional sex roles. Each type of relationship develops in the context of seeking distractions from memories of combat and the ostracism of others.

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