Researched and written by DC
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Very little is given on Carol during the series itself, but based on what had happened between herself and Zeke, and her eventual marriage to Harry, some conclusions can be drawn. These conclusions are not necessarily canon- just opinion based on those facts presented within the series.
Carol is a pretty young woman with dark eyes and long dark brown hair. She is slender and approximately 5'5 to 5'7" tall. Somewhat shy, she is soft spoken with a gentle smile. Born around 1940, she is more than likely the only child of a comfortable middle class family.
Carol, possibly a bank teller and still living at home with her parents, met Sgt. Zeke Anderson (Sergeant E-5) sometime before he was shipped on his overseas assignment to Germany, around 1961. Since Carol is somewhat shy, Zeke would have met her while she was working as opposed to somewhere out on the town on a Friday or Saturday evening.
Both of them young and na´ve, Carol a couple of years younger than Zeke, would not understand or realize what it would be like to be an Army wife and dependant. When Zeke got his orders to ship overseas to Germany, he would have asked Carol to be his wife so that she could accompany him. Very much in love, she may have thought she possibly had an opportunity to see Europe and be happily married before they would settle down and start a family. So she would marry Zeke.
However, Carol would not be able to withstand what it entailed to be an Army wife. A dependant personality who had up till that point never been alone, she would soon find herself in a foreign country and very much on her own while Zeke disappeared for long periods of time with his military duties. This would start to force her to be more independent, something she was incapable of handling. She would find herself starting to hate the Army and the life associated with it.
After three years in Germany, the Andersons would have returned stateside, around 1964 to Ft. Benning, Ga. For Carol, returning home to the States meant an end to the isolation she would have experienced in Germany. They could start a family now. Not long after returning to the States, she would be pregnant with their daughter Katie.
This is an exciting time for Zeke, his wife now pregnant with their first child, but also because he is now part of what would become the First Air Cavalry Division. This was a very innovative unit that was created to test the ideas of fighting battles using helicopters as opposed to ground vehicles. But it would be a disappointment for Carol. She would more than likely see even less of Zeke. He was even on maneuvers and had to come in from the field when their daughter was born. (Reference Ep #23- Saigon -Part 2).
Even with the birth of their daughter, the marriage was already starting to strain. Zeke may not have realized how completely unhappy Carol was with being away so often. Carol endured, for despite everything, she did love Zeke. And perhaps clung to the hope that when he finished out his enlistment, they would leave the Army behind and start a more normal life.
Vietnam would change that.
In September 1965, Zeke along with the rest of the First Cav would leave by ship for Vietnam- to serve his first tour of duty. Carol, with a young child, would be left completely on her own back at Ft. Benning to cope and to worry about her husband. It would be the hardest time in her young life and it would be simply more than she could handle.
During the last three or four months of Zeke's tour, it is possible that Carol met another man. It would have been quite innocent, possibly a handyman there to repair the plumbing or some such similar task. He may have smiled sweetly at the little girl toddling about, and said something kind to Carol that would not have been lost on her. This man would easily see a pretty, sad and lonely young woman whose soldier husband was overseas. She is vulnerable and an easy target and he knows it.
Making himself available and possibly turning up in places she frequents, like the supermarket for instance, he would eventually convince her to join him for something as simple and innocent as a cup of coffee. Over the next few months, he would continue to meet her, possibly movies and dinner here and there, fixing things up around the house for her. All innocent for her, she is not betraying her husband. But this new man is someone who is listening to her, being supportive of her. He would be flattering, and he would be kind to her daughter. More than anything, when Carol finds herself in periods of simply being unable to handle the loneliness, he would only be a phone call away.
But as Zeke's tour draws to a close in 1966, Carol prepares to welcome her husband home. She will become excited as he not only manages to survive being in Vietnam, but his enlistment will be up with the Army. They could now look forward to a real life, with Zeke in a normal job. They could look forward to more children, and Katie would have her father again. It never occurs to her that Zeke would have other plans.
It would have been not only a surprise, but also a complete shock upon Zeke's return to her and Katie when he tells her his news. That he was going back for a second tour (six months) and that he had re-upped for six more years with the Army. It would never have occurred to Zeke that maybe he should have discussed these decisions with Carol before making them.
This would be such a betrayal to Carol. Everything that she had planned on, believed would now happen would be destroyed with Zeke's announcement. Backed into an emotional corner she was ill prepared for, she would tell Zeke to go back to Vietnam. But she would not wait for him. That she had found someone while he was gone, someone who had time for her and their daughter. Go back to his war.
Zeke would in fact return to Vietnam to start the first six months of his second tour. And Carol would take their baby girl and try to start a life with this man she had met. Seeing no reason to come home at the end of those six months, Zeke would have extended another six to finish out his second tour. This would explain what he told Goldman while in the tunnels in Episode #2- Notes from the Underground.
For whatever reason, things would not work out for Carol and this new man. And sometime before Zeke finished his second tour, Carol would end up moving home to her parents. In retrospect, Zeke realizes that he should not have signed on for a third tour in 1967, but instead come home and claim Carol and his daughter and try to set things right. He would let the opportunity slip away from him, though. And Carol, now having few choices, would find she has to survive. It was never in doubt that she loved Zeke, but she could not continue to be his wife and live the kind of life they had with the Army.
Carol would meet Harry, an attorney who was a stable and solid person and could provide the foundation she could never have with Zeke. She may not love Harry, but he loves her and Katie and can give her the things she wanted- a home and a family and a life away from the Army.
|Points of Interest by Episode:
Ep #2- Notes from the Underground: Zeke tells Goldman the reason for signing on for a third tour was that his wife had left and had taken their baby girl.
Ep # 11- Road Runner: Carol sends a letter to Zeke and a picture of their daughter- Katie.
Ep # 22- Saigon Part One: We see Carol for the first time when she comes to tell Zeke she is remarrying.
Ep # 23- Saigon Part Two: Zeke mentions how beautiful his wife looked holding their new born baby girl.
Ep # 24- For What it's Worth: Zeke twice mentions his marriage- once to Goldman and once to Jennifer Seymour. Also, Major Darling remarks about the pass he gave Zeke to see his wife in Saigon.
Ep # 30- Terms of Enlistment: Zeke asks Myron if he is crazy to ask Jennifer to marry him so soon after Carol told him she was remarrying.
Ep # 37- The Volunteer: Myron offers to loan Zeke money when Zeke's child support allotment is not being sent to Carol.
Ep #40- The Ties That Bind: Zeke comes home on leave to visit his daughter and we see Carol again.
Ep #41- Lonely at the Top: Jennifer is concerned when Zeke shows up a week early, wanting to know if everything was okay with Carol and Katie.