Date of Graduation

Summer 2010

Degree

Master of Science in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Rose Utley

Keywords

World War II, veterans, health perceptions, posttraumatic stress disorder, military experience.

Subject Categories

Nursing

Abstract

There is limited research on the viewpoints and perceptions of World War II veterans regarding the impact of military service on health. The purpose of this study was to identify WWII veteran's health perceptions and the potential long-term impact of war. The WWII veteran population is decreasing, so time is of the essence. This qualitative research study included face-to-face interviews with World War II veterans from Ozark County, Missouri. An interview guide originally developed by the Veteran's History Project and revised by a more recent study of WWII veterans' health perceptions was used. Thematic analysis of interview data was performed to identify WWII veterans' viewpoints and perceptions, resulting in 13 themes related to the research questions. Themes revealed WWII veterans were youthful as they ventured into their military service, often not knowing what lay ahead. Throughout the years much of their military experiences were known to few. Although they downplayed the effects of war, emotional distress is evident today. Their sense of duty and patriotism led them to be a part of this military conflict. Sense of accomplishment and long-term effects of war were downplayed. In addition, their homecoming experiences were remembered by all with contrasting emotions in the end. Findings of this study increase awareness of WWII veterans' military experiences, their perceptions of health, and the impact of military service on health. Future veterans can gain an understanding of the impact of military service on health and the potential long-term impact of war.

Copyright

© Kimberly S. Peters

Campus Only

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