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Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik

A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture

[Journal of English and American Studies]

Ed. by Butter, Michael / Eckstein, Lars / Frenk, Joachim / Georgi-Findlay, Brigitte / Herbst, Thomas / Korte, Barbara / Leypoldt, Günter / Reinfandt, Christoph / Stefanowitsch, Anatol

CiteScore 2017: 0.07

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.123
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.323

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Volume 66, Issue 4


“To Put Others Before Yourself”: Volunteerism and Mental Health in US Veterans’ Projects

Frank Usbeck
Published Online: 2018-11-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zaa-2018-0036


The post-9/11 wars produced a new generation of US veterans. As the military campaigns dragged on over extended periods, public discourse on the wars refueled ongoing discussions from the Vietnam era about veterans’ social and psychological wellbeing. The public increasingly voiced concerns about psychological injuries such as posttraumatic stress, veterans’ postwar reintegration struggles, and suicides. This article will discuss two NGOs organized by and for veterans to analyze how their activism responds to the sense of social crisis prevalent in these public debates on veterans’ affairs. It will present the projects’ online self-representation and their documentation in activist scholarship and journalism to carve out how civic engagement in veterans’ affairs challenges the traditional myth of American individualism to promote volunteerism and community service as vehicles for reintegration, promoting – and enacting – the civil-military social contract.

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About the article

Corresponding author: Dr. Frank Usbeck, State Ethnographic Collections Saxony, Dresden, Germany

Published Online: 2018-11-29

Published in Print: 2018-12-19

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Volume 66, Issue 4, Pages 427–441, ISSN (Online) 2196-4726, ISSN (Print) 0044-2305, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zaa-2018-0036.

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