Memories of a Vietnam Veteran: What I Have Remembered and What He Could Not Forget

Memories of a Vietnam Veteran: What I Have Remembered and What He Could Not Forget

by Barbara Child


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Barbara Child put her heart and soul into a letter to her partner, Alan Morris, while he was at the cottage they shared in Florida and she was away at school in California. He was a Vietnam War veteran, and she was taking a seminary course on war—in particular, the Vietnam War. She turned in her letter as a term paper for the course, calling it “An Open Letter to a Vietnam Veteran.” A little more than two years later, the war finally took its toll on Alan. He put a Colt .45 to his head and pulled the trigger. Barbara read part of her letter as the eulogy at his memorial service.

That letter led to one thing, then another. Eventually, Barbara began analysis with a Jungian psychologist and shared the letter with him. She began talking more and more about Alan. She began writing more and more about Alan. From those writings came this book.

Memories of a Vietnam Veteran gives a partner’s-eye view of post-traumatic stress and moral injury relentlessly taking their toll on the body, mind, and soul of a veteran who served as a medic in the Vietnam War. The book also shows how Jungian dream work with an expert, caring analyst can bring forth memories and the meaning of memories both sought and unsought. Ultimately, this book is both a labor of love and an impassioned outcry on behalf of all victims of war, whatever their part in the suffering.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630516918
Publisher: Chiron Publications
Publication date: 02/01/2019
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 597,427
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Barbara Child's first retirement came in 1978 when she gave up her position as tenured English professor at Kent State University after 15 years there, teaching nearly every kind of writing course anybody ever thought of - essay writing, poetry writing, fiction writing, and eventually legal writing. She left to practice poverty law as an attorney with the Legal Services Corporation, then went back to academia to teach in law schools, first at Golden Gate University in San Francisco where she served as Director of Writing and Research and then at University of Florida where she created the position of Director of Legal Drafting. She advocated drafting legal documents in plain language and taught this approach in workshops for state legislative drafting bureaus through the National Conference of State Legislatures. The second edition of her textbook, Drafting Legal Documents, is still in use over two decades after its publication.
When Barbara left academia in 1993 after 15 years in law, that was her second retirement. She left to go to seminary. A Unitarian Universalist, she became an Accredited Interim Minister, and she retired for the third time when she completed her last full-time interim ministry in 2010. Since then the second edition of In the Interim: Strategies for Interim Ministers and Congregations was published, edited by Barbara and Keith Kron. Forthcoming in 2019 will be the collection of readings and rituals she has edited for congregations in times of change and transition.
Barbara does not anticipate any more retirements. She continues to mentor ministers and serve congregations as short-term consultant. She lives in her log cabin in the woods of Brown County, outside the small artists' colony of Nashville, Indiana. She expects to die a long time from now, either composing editorial notes at the computer or pausing for the next thought with a pen in her hand.

Table of Contents

Preface 7

Author’s Note 9

Prologue – Agents Provocateurs 13


A Lifetme Is Too Narrow to Understand It All 21

Chapter 1 – Living in Florida 23

Chapter 2 – An Open Leter to a Vietnam Veteran 51

Chapter 3 – Dying in Florida 79

Chapter 4 – Mementos, Memorials, and a Ritual of Grieving 99


I Will Wait for You 109

Chapter 5 – Alan Will Be Coming Soon 111

Chapter 6 – Digging Deeper 123

Chapter 7 – Bringing Forth 133

Epilogue – The Sword and the Snake 151

Afterword – In Country 157

Acknowledgements 169

For Further Reading 171

War – Accounts from War Correspondents and Veterans 171

Post-Traumatc Stress Disorder and Moral Injury 176

Edward Tick’s Journeys of Healing and Reconciliaton 179

The Ant-War Movement and the Killings at Kent State 184

Jungian Psychology, Analysis, and Dream Work 192

Poetry and the Search for Meaning 193

Sources Cited in the Text 194

About the Author 197

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