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Peterson, C.A. (2015). Military Service as Child Sacrifice: Oedipal and Odyssean Perspectives. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 12(1):36-52.

(2015). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 12(1):36-52

Military Service as Child Sacrifice: Oedipal and Odyssean Perspectives

Charles Andrew Peterson

Rudyard Kipling was determined to send his sickly, extremely near-sighted, son, Jack into the meat grinder that was World War I. His son was killed shortly after reaching the front. Kipling's readiness to sacrifice his son will be compared with Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac; both parents were willing to sacrifice their sons for a higher cause. How parents, especially combat veterans who may have been traumatized themselves, view military service will certainly influence how their sons resist or be prepared for military service. Is trauma passed from one generation to the next? Are parents willing to sacrifice their children? Oedipal families will view the prospect of child sacrifice differently than will Odyssean families. These antipodal perspectives will be contrasted as we follow how World War II combat vets prepared Vietnam era sons for service and combat. Composite voices are used to illustrate different vantage points. Tentative suggestions are offered for parents, their children and recruiters.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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