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Firsthand Accounts


Image 1: Beauty Queen Jean Ponder; Image 2: Jean and Terry Allen at home with their baby daughter; Image 3: Terry Allen smiles holding his daughter while Jean looks on; Image 4: Terry Allen blows out birthday candles with his daughters
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Before (0:27)
October 1967 (1:31)
Aftermath (0:53)
Reflections (1:35)

Jean Ponder Allen
soldier's wife

'...I have never changed my mind about the wrongness of the war in Vietnam...'

In 1960, Jean Ponder married Terry Allen, Jr., the son of a famous World War II general. She was a Texas beauty queen 14 years younger than her husband. He was a career Army officer, following in his father's footsteps. By 1967, Terry was fighting in Vietnam and Jean was raising three girls herself. She began to question the war -- and her marriage . She sent Terry a Dear John letter, and the couple was soon headed toward divorce. Terry was killed in combat on October 17, 1967.

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