Abstract Title

Veteran Memory:The Experiences of US Army Soldiers in Vietnam and the Role of Individual Memory.

Abstract

Veteran Memorytakes an in depth look at the experiences of US Army Veterans who served in the Vietnam War. This project is a two-part project that aims to answer two questions. The first questions how soldiers felt about what they went through in combat, and how those thoughts differed between volunteers and draftees. The second questions how the use of memoirs enhances the understanding of feelings and experiences of historical events. This research focuses solely on US Army Veterans, both volunteers and victims of the draft. Only memoirs are used to conduct this research. Past scholarship only uses interviews and questionnaires to gain insight on experiences, this is the first project where memoirs have been focused on. Major trends found throughout these memoirs is that the volunteers took more pride in what they did and how they dealt with being in the war due to the luxury of job selection. Draftees were forced into infantry, regardless of education or prior technical skills. This was very demoralizing, and these feelings were observed in every memoir, volunteer and draftee. It is also very evident that the memoirs offer a point of view that was developed with deeper thought and reflection. Interviews are scripted, selective, and add pressure to those being interviewed. Memoirs are uncontested and honest reflections of experiences, offering an enhanced view on the Vietnam War and the experiences of combat.

Modified Abstract

Veteran Memorytakes an in depth look at the experiences of US Army Veterans who served in the Vietnam War. This two-part project that aims to answer two questions: 1. How did soldiers feel about what they went through in combat, and how those thoughts differ between volunteers and draftees? 2. How do the use of memoirs enhance our understanding of experiences of historical events? This research focuses solely on US Army Veterans of the Vietnam War, both volunteers and victims of the draft. Only memoirs are used to conduct this research. Past scholarship only uses interviews and questionnaires to gain insight on experiences of the war, this is the first project where memoirs have been focused on.

Research Category

Political Sciences/Philosophy/History

Author Information

Danielle DeCristofaroFollow

Primary Author's Major

History

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Matthew

Crawford

Start Date

April 2019

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM

Veteran Memory:The Experiences of US Army Soldiers in Vietnam and the Role of Individual Memory.

Veteran Memorytakes an in depth look at the experiences of US Army Veterans who served in the Vietnam War. This project is a two-part project that aims to answer two questions. The first questions how soldiers felt about what they went through in combat, and how those thoughts differed between volunteers and draftees. The second questions how the use of memoirs enhances the understanding of feelings and experiences of historical events. This research focuses solely on US Army Veterans, both volunteers and victims of the draft. Only memoirs are used to conduct this research. Past scholarship only uses interviews and questionnaires to gain insight on experiences, this is the first project where memoirs have been focused on. Major trends found throughout these memoirs is that the volunteers took more pride in what they did and how they dealt with being in the war due to the luxury of job selection. Draftees were forced into infantry, regardless of education or prior technical skills. This was very demoralizing, and these feelings were observed in every memoir, volunteer and draftee. It is also very evident that the memoirs offer a point of view that was developed with deeper thought and reflection. Interviews are scripted, selective, and add pressure to those being interviewed. Memoirs are uncontested and honest reflections of experiences, offering an enhanced view on the Vietnam War and the experiences of combat.