Magazine article VFW Magazine

War's Toll on Marriage

Magazine article VFW Magazine

War's Toll on Marriage

Article excerpt

Study proves war veterans have higher divorce rate, but Vietnam vets have lower rate than public perception.

Note: Though "combat" is used in the study, it is not clear whether the individual merely served in the war zone.

It's no secret that Vietnam veterans are more likely to get divorced than their non-veteran counterparts. And it's also no secret that if you believe this to be true, you've bought into the age-old media bias against Vietnam vets.

In fact, a recent study published in Armed Forces & Society-Warfare and Welfare: Military Service, Combat and Marital Dissolution"-proves the divorce rate among Vietnam veterans serving during 1968 and later is equal to non-veterans. Furthermore, pre-1968 Vietnam veterans are more likely to have remained married than non-veterans.

Conducted by professors William Ruger and Sven Wilson, as well as Navy veteran Shawn Waddoups, this study also found Korean War vets to have the most unstable track record with marriage-twice the dissolution rate of WWII vets. In comparison to non-veterans of their generation, vets of Korea were 26% more likely to get divorced. To gather such information, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey of Families and Household.

Researchers attributed this to such factors as a sense of inferiority compared to WWII vets. The homecoming vets of the "forgotten war" received paled in comparison, leaving many feeling isolated. The study found it probable that such "social stresses" could lead to divorce. Of course, these are all just theories.

The Real Truth

The most telling piece of this study-- which surveyed 442 vets of WW-II, 217 of Korea and 471 of Vietnam-is its candor in dealing with the truth about Vietnam War vets. …

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