Coming Home: A History of War Veterans
(Originally produced in 2008.) Most news coverage of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan focuses on troop movements, suicide bombings, and the geopolitical developments at work. Only rarely do we hear the stories of individual men and women fighting there, and hardly ever do we hear what it’s like for those Americans when they return home.
Has it always been thus? How have veterans been treated in the aftermath of America’s previous wars? How much depends on the politics of the war – are vets only as popular as the wars they’ve fought in? These are some of the central questions on the table as we explore veterans’ experiences through three centuries of American life.
- Frank Earnest, past Commander of the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
- Rebecca Jo Plant, historian and author of Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America
- Ed Tick, Director of Soldier’s Heart, a nonprofit serving America’s war veterans and their families
- Conflicting Loyalties
Sons of Confederate Veterans spokesman Frank Earnest tells 19th Century History Guy Ed Ayers how he reconciles his Confederate heritage with his identity as a veteran of the U.S. Navy. And he explains what the Confederate flag means to him.
- Soldier’s Heart
Psychologist Edward Tick counsels combat veterans and studies historical accounts of war. He discusses the ways war was understood in the years before Post Traumatic Stress Disorder existed as a diagnosis.
Want to learn more about the history of War Veterans? Check out a comprehensive list of sources that the History Guys put together to learn more.