Story of re-creating home: Learning as a tool for healing post military service




Arambula Acosta, Heriberto

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This autoethnographic study examined the challenges and difficulties a post-9/11 combat veteran faced as they transitioned and reintegrated into civilian life post-military service. With suicide rates in the veteran community reaching alarming rates, this study explored personal narratives and perspectives on reintegration to counter the deficit ideology that often surrounds the veteran experience. Through pláticas and storytelling methods, the study engaged combat veterans, Gold Star families, and the author’s own family as co-researchers. Together, they built a public pedagogy of healing through transformational learning experiences, utilizing storytelling to deconstruct, construct, and reconstruct meaning. The study highlights the importance of the ecologies of knowing spheres. The recommendations include personal growth and development through Anzaldúa and Bakhtin’s concepts of nepantla and ideological becoming, the need for higher education spaces to be more inclusive for veterans as non-traditional students, and policy changes that utilize storytelling to prevent suicide among veterans. Ultimately, this study offers a powerful testament to the transformative power of storytelling as a tool for healing and provides valuable insights into the experiences of post-9/11 combat veterans.



military veteran, post-9/11 combat veteran, suicide, Platicas, storytelling, transitioning, reintegration, public pedagogy, healing


Arámbula Acosta, H. (2023). Story of re-creating home: Learning as a tool for healing post military service (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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