“He Seemed To Be Living In Two Different Worlds”: A Spouse Deals With Post-Traumatic Stress Following The Vietnam War
Linda Trask grew up in Maine and married Brian Trask before he deployed to Vietnam on August 20, 1968. She remembers their first date, when they went to a bowling alley and ordered pizza. They spent their honeymoon in a cabin in the woods, but Brian seemed emotionally disconnected. When he deployed to Vietnam, Linda worked in the typing pool at G.H. Bass Shoes. Holidays were hard for her and communicating with Brian was difficult, even though she wrote him a letter every night. Sometimes they sent cassette tapes with recorded messages to each other, and on one occasion Brian was able to call her from Vietnam. After nine months overseas, they were able to meet on R&R in Hawaii, where they spent five days at the Outrigger Hotel. When Brian returned home, Linda observed that he suffered anger issues and acted isolated and removed, noting that “he seemed to be living in two different worlds.” He eventually sought veterans counseling, and Linda realized that wives can suffer from secondary Post Traumatic Stress. She feels that knowing what happened over there might have helped her. Attending reunions is important, and talking with other wives allows them to share their experiences. Former D/1-5 Commander Kyle Hatzinger’s work with D/1-5 Cavalry Veterans helped as well because Kyle cared so much about the Veterans and their families.