American History Personal Project  
By: Kenedy Pierce
Hour 5, 9th grade

How did I get here? Throughout this year I have changed my focus and finally found one I may stick with. I started out researching a topic of child abuse, I've always been curious about why it happens and where it started, I wasn't really finding anything to make a project with it so I changed my focus to "How America has been a dangerous environment for kids throughout the year" and I still didn't have any luck with it so I'm starting to branch out and not just research about child abuse but about War effecting families and I've so far found much more that I can make a project on.

What have I learned? Throughout this year I switched with different topics and researching about war affecting families has finally caught my attention and I'm learning more than I was in the beginning. I learned about how depressing war can be for everyone.

In what ways have I grown or regressed? I've grown a lot throughout the year because in the beginning I didn't think this project was a big deal until the middle of the school year it hit me that this project affects my grade in this class and I have begun to take way more responsibility with my work.

What mistakes have I made or what would I do differently if I had the opportunity again to do this project? I didn't take this project seriously and I used this class as a time to do homework or to socialize, if I had the chance to take this class again I would focus more and know that if waited until last minute then I would be more stressed with the project kinda like I am now.

How has what I've done helped me understand myself? I understand that I get distracted easily and that I have responsibility but I need to use it more for projects that really effect my grade.

How has what you've done helped you understand the history of our country? I understand how brave and daring our soldiers were and still are. I have even more respect for soldiers who serve now or who have served before because of all they have to give up like their families and even their lives.

Why has what I've been studying is worthy in history? This topic is worthy to history because it shows how brave Americans can be and it helps put people in a place that soldiers are and help them understand what soldiers go through during war and after war. Families can be lost and broken from soldiers after war and lots of things are at risk.

What ways have I failed or succeeded? I have failed with the different topics I've tried to use but never found anything with, I have succeeded with finally finding something I can work with and find stuff with throughout history and learn more with.

How can what I have done make this world a better place? I think the world can realize what soldiers go through. Soldiers don't go into war for the attention from America they go because they are willing to risk their lives and all they have to protect their country and I really think the world should see that and understand it.

War Affecting Soldiers Families

Time Periods: Cold War, WW1, WW2, Vietnam, Iraq war (1990's)

"There have been days when there are more military family members killed by their veteran on the home front than troops killed in action on the war front". War affects a soldiers life in many ways including; social life, family life, mentally and physically. I'm going to do research on this topic during the time periods listed above, war still affect soldiers currently but I want to go back and compare the different time periods.

  • older children in the family as they had to take care of the household duties and any younger children
  • Women have to replace the men in workforce
  • Many of the men who came back from the War were suffering from serious injuries, the effects of Mustard Gas and or shell shock.
  • One in eight service personnel has attacked someone in a rage after returning from the battlefield. Wives and partners are often the victims.

WW1 & WW2
(1914-18 & 1939-45)

Propaganda poster for WW1 and WW2

Background: These two major wars had many effects on family and home life for soldiers. What I have found is that because of mental and physical injuries family life is more of a struggle. Soldiers relationships with their children are often broken in between because the children do not understand the trauma and or pain the father is going through and communication is lost between the two. The two brutal wars left many scars on families even after the wars in 1918 (WW1) and 1945 (WW2). Soldiers may turn to alcohol or drugs as a relief from flashbacks and trauma from the war and can cause abuse on families and many difficult situations.

What I have found: What I have learned in this time period is that soldiers had no idea what they were going to be getting into. Physical and mental injuries were and still are huge impacts on soldiers life, soldiers may have physical injuries such as being hit or being in shell shock. Mental injuries are more of flashbacks and having nightmares of the gruesome acts of war.

Cold War
(1947 – 1991)

Background Information: During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union fought together as allies against the Axis powers. However, the relationship between the two nations was a tense one. Americans had long been wary of Soviet communism and concerned about Russian leader Joseph Stalin’s tyrannical rule of his own country. For their part, the Soviets resented the Americans’ decades-long refusal to treat the USSR as a legitimate part of the international community as well as their delayed entry into World War II, which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Russians.

What I have found: The Cold War became a dominant influence on many aspects of American society for much of the second half of the 20th century.

Vietnam War

Background information: The Vietnam War started in 1955 and ended in 1975, this war was a long war, costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies, known as the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. More than 3 million people were killed in the war, including 58,000 Americans. In 1975, communist forces seized control of Saigon, ending the Vietnam War, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.

What I have found: PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) is a common thing soldiers are effected with after war. PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event, such as the killing and capturing of soldiers in war.

Iraq War (Desert Storm)

Background Information: Operation Desert Storm, also known as the first Gulf War, was the successful U.S. Allied response to Iraq's attempt to overwhelm neighboring Kuwait. Kuwait's liberation in 1991 brought to the battlefield a new era of military technology. Nearly all battles were aerial and ground combat within Iraq, Kuwait, and outlying areas of Saudi Arabia. Iraq inflicted little damage on the American coalition; however, they fired missiles on Israeli citizens.

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