After a 21-year career in the U.S. Army, John Bechtold is now a PhD student in UNC’s Department of American Studies, using photography as a means to discuss American public memory and cultural perceptions of war.
Before 2001, the use of prescribed psychoactive medications in U.S. Army warzones was restricted. But an increase in mental health awareness, low recruitment numbers, and longer deployments during the War on Terror — the longest-running conflict in American history — has shifted the rules and regulations for military mental health treatment. UNC medical anthropologist Jocelyn Chua speaks with active duty service members, veterans, and health care providers to learn more.
During his deployments to Afghanistan in 2012 and 2014, Reuben Mabry relied on his artwork for respite. Now a master’s student in UNC’s studio art program, he uses his eight-year career in the U.S. Army as the foundation for his work, creating paintings about the indoctrination of military members.