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Author's Name: Angela Ottenlips

Title: "Elusive Mistress"

 Joe was 21 when he was drafted and sent to Vietnam in July of 1966.  He was there 11 days and was in a decoy unit that was ambushed.  He was burned on 25% of his body and suffered other injuries. He spent the rest of his service time in Army hospitals. We were married shortly before his release.  He didn't talk much about what happened and as the years progressed, he developed PTSD.

My view is that of a surviving wife. It was as if Vietnam was a seductive  Mistress that consumed his thoughts night and day and he was powerless over her hold.  "She" ended up being a wedge between Joe and anyone who wanted to get close to him.

I know I am not alone. Many, many spouses must deal with the aftermath of war.  It is not pleasant.  

So when I think of Vietnam, I get a pain in the pit of my stomach.  I think of what might have been if the mistress had not come along.