Combat in the Gulf War II: The lived experience of female veterans
Purpose: The purpose of this dissertation inquiry is to discover the experiences of female veterans in order to understand the impacts of combat on their physical and mental health, and to shed light on directions for future research. The research question for this inquiry is: What is the lived experience of female combat veterans who deployed to the Gulf War II? Methods: The methodology used in this qualitative inquiry is a descriptive phenomenological approach using Husserl's philosophical framework. Colaizzi's method was used for data analysis. Data Analysis: Analysis revealed seven themes: Living in constant fear while deployed, combat has different meanings, bringing the war home, fear of being forever changed, disrespect from fellow military members, physical health: for better or worse, and combat has rewarding experiences. Conclusion: Early detection and assessment is crucial to providing interventions to military veterans to reduce the invisible wound of war, PTSD, and ultimately increase quality of life.