Experiences of women who served during the Vietnam War have been described in interviews/anecdotal reports but rarely in empirical literature. Potential positive (versus negative) aspects of service or its impact on well-being are seldom considered. We describe stressful and positive experiences reported by approximately 1,300 female military personnel, Red Cross workers, and others deployed to Vietnam. Prominent stressful (e.g., negative living/working conditions) and positive (e.g., interpersonal relationships) themes and differences based on trauma history, Vietnam experiences, and group membership are explored. We evaluate associations between themes and psychological well-being. Findings provide insight into experiences of this understudied group of women.
Stressful and positive experiences of women who served in Vietnam