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Oral History interview of Christina D. Thundathil. Interview conducted by Barbara Gannon at Colbourn Hall, University of Central Florida.


0:01 Introduction; 0:36 Early life and family; 1:08 Father's occupation; 1:30 Family in the military; 2:39 Education prior to joining the service; 4:07 Reasons for joining the army; 5:24 Memories of 9/11; 6:31 Reaction of family and friends to joining the military; 7:05 Location of basic training; 7:13 First day at basic training; 8:19 What "smoked" means; 8:56 Gender ratio in unit; 10:09 Describing basic training; 11:03 Describing drill sergeants; 13:42 Funny experiences during basic training; 14:26 Emotions when completing basic training; 16:04 Location for advanced training; 16:016 Training as a cook; 18:21 Average day in advanced training; 20:09 Activities in Richmond, Virginia; 20:28 Memorable experiences during advanced training; 21:09 Choosing Europe over Airborne School; 23:15 Length of time in Germany; 24:10 Preparing for war; 26:21 Traveling from Germany to Kuwait and then to Iraq; 26:58 Unit number and explaining units; 29:22 Mode of travel; 29:34 Combat lifesaver course; 30:08 Helicopter duty; 32:28 Supporting divisions moving into Iraq; 33:00 Eating routines and not cooking; 34:06 Blast from the mobile kitchen trailer and memory issues; 34:42 Timeline for Iraq and duties other than cooking; 36:34 Medical files regarding incident; 37:44 Lack of hospitalization and issues with record; 39:15 Completing duties following injury; 39:43 Leave for two weeks; 40:00 Vacation in Spain; 40:20 Returning to Iraq; 41:10 Difficulties being female in the military; 44:00 Shower trailer incidents; 46:16 Mental health deteriorating and contemplating suicide; 47:05 Repercussions following confrontation; 49:42 Returning to Kuwait and cleaning vehicles; 51:03 Drugged and raped at party; 51:34 Accusations of false statements; 51:47 False charges and violation of rights; 52:10 Uncovering evidence and genetic problems; 55:08 Losing healthcare for two years; 55:45 Moving to Florida with husband and worsening medical issues; 55:58 Deletion of medical records and health consequences; 58:00 Receiving VA healthcare; 1:01:37 Husband's healthcare; 1:02:16 Issues with VA healthcare in Oklahoma; 1:03:10 Speaking with local congressmen; 1:04:42 Raising children and post-military activities; 1:06:40 Upcoming documentary; 1:07:09 Closing remarks.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Aiken (S.C.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State

South Carolina

War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

12th Combat aviation Brigade; 5th Core, HHC5-158

Location of Service

Fort Lee (Va.); Fort Jackson (S.C.); Germany; Kuwait; Iraq

Highest Rank


Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





National Service Medal; Command Commendation; Excellence Commendation


Served as Combat Life Savior, Guard Duty Command.


The veteran got TBI injury from Blast. He won Bravery Recongnition from 3rd Infantry Division.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Gannon, Barbara

Interview Date

Fall 12-5-2017

Location of Interview

Colbourn Hall, University of Central Florida


Thundathil, Christina D.; Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal Narratives; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives; Women and the military -- United States; United States. Army

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES University of Central Florida


Gannon, Barbara

Length of Interview

68 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type