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Community Engagement & Service

COCES Features

Always Coming Home:
The American Female Veteran Experience

Always Coming Home: The American Female Veteran Experience seeks to document the experiences of women veterans whose return to civilian life has been affected by diverse combat and service situations but who have had little opportunity to share their experiences with the public.

Thanks to a 2010 grant from the Humanities Council SC and two USC awards, we have been videotaping interviews with women veterans from all over the United States, all branches of service, who have served from WW II through today.

Interviews range from 30 minutes to several hours. The interviews offer women veterans a time and place to reflect on their reasons for entering service, what life was like for them while serving, and how things have gone for them as civilians. Over 50 women have been interviewed, and a 29 minute video, Soldier Girl: South Carolina Veterans created and placed on Vimeo. The film has been screened by veterans groups, mental health organizations, at conferences, and at the 2012 Indie Grits Film Festival.

In collaboration with the Moving Images Research Collections (MIRC), we are digitally preserving the project’s full length interviews.

Visit us at ACH Website: http://lichen.csd.sc.edu/ach/

“In hindsight I probably should have spoken out long, long ago. In my day, I was a pioneer simply because I was female‚ĶToday's military woman is fully integrated into every aspect of the military, no longer unusual and serving combat roles. Yet, they are as much pioneers as we were since they are the first to transition [to] combat experiences that men have always dealt with.” Susan Jarvie, US Air Force 1976-1982 (March 26, 2010)

Funding is needed so we may hold more interviews and update our website. For information on this and on viewing Soldier Girl, contact Cathy Brookshire, Director, at cathy_brookshire@yahoo.com.

 

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