War Narratives: Veteran Stories, PTSD Effects, and Therapeutic Fly-Fishing


  • Rasul A. Mowatt
  • Jessie Bennett


Narratology, narrative analysis, effects of war, PTSD treatment, outdoor recreation


Working within a framework of narratology (narrative theory), this study is a gathering and analysis of 67 letters of veterans as they concluded their participation in a therapeutic fly-fishing program in Dutch John, Utah along the Green River. The program worked with veterans with confirmed diagnoses of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder who served overseas in each branch of the Armed Forces (except the Coast Guard) during Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield, and Vietnam. The collected narratives were analyzed based on a three-part process of reading: explication, explanation, and exploration. This analysis approach presented a uniquely constructed perspective of veterans as they participated in treatment. Researchers systematically analyzed the stories to present a narrative and set of themes that would inform and guide future empirical studies on the realities of veterans, program experiences, and perspective on treatment.