The Reckoning: Anger, Depression, and Reconciliation with Carol Sprague

Carol Sprague is the wife of Chuck Sprague, a former Vietnam Veteran and retired VA Psychiatrist. Carol and Chuck both grew up on orange groves and met during a Goodbye Picnic when Carol was sixteen years old. Chuck asked Carol’s parents for their permission to take Carol to the Goodbye Dance. A Romeo and Juliet relationship with many arguments along the way, this changed when they married just prior to Chuck going to Vietnam. Carol and Chuck live happily in Muskego, Wisconsin, after working through the trauma, depression, and anger that ensued after Chuck’s return from Vietnam.

Carol joins me today to discuss the reckoning that occurred a decade after Chuck returned injured from Vietnam. She shares the challenges and emotions associated with being the wife of a Veteran who has seen extensive action. Carol shares how Chuck kept his Vietnam experiences to himself for ten years, before his father’s death caused a day of reckoning. She discusses their reconciliation and finding peace through religion and philosophy. Carol also highlights how communication and counseling can help Veterans and their spouses as well as the importance of avoiding shaming and blame.

“We were two ships passing in the night when it came to his Vietnam experience – until it all came apart.” – Carol Sprague

This week on the Stigma Free Vet Zone Podcast:

  • Carol’s feelings of anger towards the government for joining a war based on oil-related motives
  • Carol’s experience with being questioned about what our government was doing in Vietnam, as a twenty-year-old woman
  • The cold and hard telegram from the government informing Carol that Chuck was injured in Vietnam
  • The Navy and government’s lack of outreach about what to expect from Chuck’s recovery and his reaction to his experiences
  • Why Carol wanted Chuck to share more stories about his experiences
  • How Chuck’s dad dying in the 1980s became the incident that finally caused him to open up about his Vietnam experiences
  • How philosophy and religion helped Chuck work through his anger and depression
  • How Carol and Chuck reconciled the difficulties of their post-Vietnam decade by discussing their emotions and feelings
  • Why you should seek counseling, hold on to your friends, find someone you can talk to, and avoid shaming and blaming

This episode is brought to you by…

The Orban Foundation for Veterans is dedicated to bringing greater hope, understanding, resolution, and togetherness on issues of civilian readjustment for all military veterans and their families. Orban Foundation for Veterans promotes the importance of education, identification, understanding, acceptance, and resolution of many of the complex and severe responses to war and military life.

Visit our website to learn more about the Orban Foundation for Veterans and to support our mission.

Helping Veterans & Their Families Transition to Civilian Life

Thanks for tuning into this segment of the Stigma Free Vet Zone podcast, the show dedicated to helping veterans and their families make the transition from the military to civilian life and culture. If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts to subscribe to the show and leave a review. For more stories, insight, and resources on coping with military-related trauma and PTSD, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to share your favorite episodes across social media to help us raise awareness and help our brothers and sisters and their families transition to civilian life.

DISCLAIMER: The information and content shared in each episode of the Stigma Free Vet Zone are for informational purposes only. The Stigma Free Vet Zone hosts, Mike Orban & Bob Bach, are not, nor claim to be, medical doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists and should not be held responsible for any claims, medical advice, or therapy/treatment recommendations mentioned on this podcast. Any advice mentioned or shared by Mike Orban, Bob Bach, or their guests is strictly for purposes of bringing awareness to the veteran community and the services available. Please speak with a medical professional before taking any advice or starting any therapy or treatment discussed or shared on this podcast.