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War and HealthThe Medical Consequences of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan$
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Catherine Lutz and Andrea Mazzarino

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479875962

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479875962.001.0001

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Afterwar Work for Life

Afterwar Work for Life

(p.210) 10 Afterwar Work for Life
War and Health

Zoë H. Wool

NYU Press

The post–9/11 wars often result in complex and chronic conditions for US service members. The ongoing need for veteran care intersects with a broader social ideal that posits normative couplehood as the sign of a successful postwar life. Both Veterans Affairs policy and sociocultural expectation are transforming family relationships into forms of care work aimed at maintaining veterans’ lives. In the shadow of soldier and veteran suicide, death looms as the possible consequence of not having or keeping these relationships. This chapter explores the nature of these complex and chronic conditions and the forms of couplehood that are entangled with them, suggesting that women’s caregiving is transformed into an afterwar work for life in which the object of care is narrowly construed as the veteran’s life itself, and the work of care is expected to last a long lifetime.

Keywords:   US, veterans, post–9/11 wars, Veterans Affairs, Caregiving

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