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“All I could think about was ‘I’m in a war, I’m going to come home with all these charges. What is my son going to think?’” (audio interview 25:21)

   Candy Sweet Lovett
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War: Persian Gulf War, 1991
Branch: Army
Unit: 10th Mountain Division
Service Location: Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; Iraq
Rank: E-4
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A single mother, Candy Sweet Lovett enlisted in the Army in 1990, motivated in part by the promise of GI Bill benefits. Lovett deployed to the Persian Gulf with the 10th Mountain Division, where her Supply and Services Division recovered U.S. casualties and buried Iraqi war dead, including mass burials alongside the Basra “Highway of Death.” She identifies this grisly work detail as but one facet of her PTSD. While deployed, she suffered sexual assault at the hands of her fellow soldiers.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (54 min.)
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»PTSD: A Lasting Impact of War
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Rashes and illness following handling and burial of Iraqi war dead; describes scorched vehicles and personnel on the “Highway of Death.” (04:40) Coping mechanisms; PTSD analysis and treatment; mental health issues derived from sexual trauma and concentrations of heavy metals in her bloodstream. (03:27) Emotional trauma of the Persian Gulf War; STD; sexual assault and “blackmail” threats of adultery charges from Commanding Officer; exhaustion induced-injury; burden of proof placed on victim of sexual assault (05:11)
Several comrades in the Fort Drum burial detail are since deceased; describes extreme symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome; Activated to testify at Gulf War medical board in Washington, D.C. (04:13) Veterans for Peace; Iraq Water Project; Returned to Iraq and met Iraqi civilians whose family members died during the Gulf War. (03:30) Reflections; views on service and loss of patriotism (01:16)

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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