The Man I Didn’t Know

Dr. Art Schmitt & Marie Leduc

A Foreword…

This book should be required reading for all spouses of war veterans. The wives of the Vietnam War indeed have compelling stories to tell and a treasure of wisdom to impart to the next generation of combat wives. So much has been learned about Post traumatic Stress Disorder and its toxic effect on families and particularly martial life. In reading these stories you will see a continuous thread binding these woman together. We have already seen statistics on how many marriages are being torn apart today when soldiers come home from war. The veteran is not the same person he was when he went to war, and yet, unsuspectingly, the wife expects to see the same man she sent off. Not so. Let me reiterate that I believe this book should be required reading for all combat wives. I use the term “combat wives” to imply that once the joy of the homecoming subsides, a new war may ensue – the war to reconnect, reestablish and rebuild the marriage through loving patience, listening ears, sharpened insights and open dialogue – the ultimate battle to save the marriage. The wives in this book have their own battle scars and war wounds and have loved enough and believed enough to be the glue that held their marriages together. These women deserve the Purple Hearts, the Bronze Stars, and the commendation medals and yet all they really want is their husband’s love, friendship and companionship.

Father Philip G. Salois, M.S.
National Chaplin, Vietnam Veterans of America
Founder, National Conference of Vietnam Veterans Ministers