Intersection of Love and War: An Experimental Photographic Memoir

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Intersection of Love and War is a combination of my words and images into a body of work that reflects my experience as a woman challenging traditional military expectations, regulations and salutations. I explore whether a civilian spouse can maintain a separate, productive identity while supporting a life partner and Soldier dedicated to the United States military, its order and traditions. I question this third party’s constant presence within my marriage and I examine how these hurdles, boundaries and ramifications effect our relationship. As the self-proclaimed family historian, I use my own documented material, photographs, videos, emails and letters, to illustrate my changing lifestyle as I struggle to understand the dynamics of military relationships. I have captured our achievements and missteps, solo trips and vacations with the kids, our charitable work and each reassignment. I have analyzed and scrutinized the decisions I make, while witnessing how other couples cope with a constant third party, “Army mistress”, within the marriage. This is my story of an accidental meeting and intentional marriage, the intersection of two contrasting ways of life. This photographic memoir is the culmination of my thoughts, feelings, experiences, and how I have handled or resisted the transitions along the way. Through my perspective, introspection and observation I share my journey, the roads I have taken, in my transition from unattached civilian to military spouse.





Hissong, Courtney (2018). Intersection of Love and War: An Experimental Photographic Memoir. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.