Author Archives: Sidra Montgomery

Book Review: Portraits of Courage

I remember a couple years ago when I first heard that George W. Bush was painting wounded warriors – I wasn’t sure what to think. On the hand, I was very cynical, “painting the people he sent to war?” It seemed like an empty gesture coming far too late. But then I heard him interviewed […]

The Emotion Work of “Thank You For Your Service”

In the post-9/11 era, “thank you for your service” (TYFYS) has become the new mantra of public support bestowed upon the veteran community. In the early 2000s, as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began escalating, “Support Our Troops” car magnets increasingly appeared on the trunks of cars across America. After well over 15 years […]

Do You Want Fries With That Back-Up Plan?

**Participants have been given pseudonyms to protect confidentiality** The most interesting little nuggets of qualitative data are the things you don’t ask about, but that come up over and over again. While Meredith and I were conducting interviews with servicemembers who were about to leave the military—we kept hearing the same curious statement unprompted by […]

Want to Interview the Veteran Population? Here’s What I’ve Learned

For the last half of my graduate career, I have been a qualitative researcher where I examine the intricate details of the populations I study. While preparing to write this piece I looked back and tallied the interviews I’ve done over the past three years; I have conducted 110 interviews with 85-90 different individuals. To […]

Honoring Veterans Over the Holidays

As a nation, we honor veterans, their service, and their sacrifices throughout the year, but we also honor them during the holiday season. As we prepare for the holidays this week, we wanted to highlight some of the unique ways veterans and servicemembers are recognized during this time of year. Wreaths Across America Wreaths across […]

A Brief History of Wounded Veterans in America: Part 2

In Part 1 (read it here!) I focused on the evolution of visible and invisible injuries throughout the history of America’s military engagements. For Part 2, I’m focusing on the compensation for wounded veterans and the expectations for their lives after their injuries… Pensions & Compensation: What Do We Owe the Wounded Veteran? Wounded and […]

A Brief History of Wounded Veterans in America: Part 1

Examining the Visible and Invisible Wounds of War The public’s attention span towards wounded veterans is short-lived, despite the fact that the physical and mental effects of war can linger for a lifetime. Research has shown that the medical needs for veterans will peak thirty years after the conflict has ended. For Iraq and Afghanistan […]