At The Ada News, a local paper from just outside Oklahoma City, Richard Putnam wrote a short piece on “Christians and Violence” entitled “The Veterans’ Chaplain.”
Putnam, who apparently supports the concept of a military and non-pacifistic defense, also says:
How…do we square the business of defending ourselves and our loved ones with Jesus’ explicit command to not engage in violence? The answer is, of course, that we cannot. We cannot obey Jesus’ command to remain nonviolent and engage in battle to protect our families.
The short column is best summed up here [emphasis added]: Read more
US Army Alaska chaplain recently participated in a “Holistic Healthcare Conference” that included discussions on PTSD and moral injury.
In a panel discussion, Chaplain (Maj) James Hall made a fascinating statement:
When asked about where service members could seek out help, Hall replied, “it usually takes a moral authority to help someone with a moral injury.”
At first it almost sounds arrogant — but, in fact, it’s true. Consider Read more
Clayton Lassiter was a US Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he’s a pastor in Florida, and he’s aiming to help veterans with some of the same struggles he had:
Since January, three of Clayton Lassiter’s buddies from his military command have killed themselves.
Having served with the Marine Corps during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lassiter has dealt with his own struggles. He’s had nightmares, flashbacks and used to have trouble being in unfamiliar environments.
Notably, the article only mentions the VA once — to highlight that it is “overwhelmed.” Lassiter isn’t out to point people toward the VA; he’s trying to start a group of veterans helping veterans, potentially focusing on the area that helped him: Read more
The US Air Force is initiating a program to help “a moral injury form of PTSD” that may be developing in UAV operators:
[UAV operators] watch and listen to an objective for days on end, learning everything about the intended target. Then, when approval is granted for a strike, they watch the results in high-definition, Atkins said.
Fear-based PTSD is something that combat personnel experience, but there is also a moral injury form of PTSD which can affect ISR cryptology personnel, Atkins said. Dealing with, and treating, fear-based PTSD is different than dealing with the type of PTSD that goes against a person’s beliefs and morals.
It is admirable the Air Force has officially Read more
David Wood was interviewed by Alex Horton of the Stars and Stripes on his recently released book, “What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of our Longest Wars.” Wood is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and his take on morality, killing, and war could be interesting [emphasis added]:
I think everyone who goes to war comes back with some form of moral injury.
The simplest definition of moral injury is a violation of your sense of what’s right. We all walk around with a sense of what’s right…
The problem is, in war you can’t possibly live up to those ideals… In my experience, people we send to war struggle with what they see and do, what they have done to them. And that’s moral injury.
Wood essentially says the Read more
Dr. Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago Divinity School recently cheered on US military chaplains who are confronting issues of moral injury.
Marty apparently came to see the issues associated with moral injury relatively recently:
A latecomer to the discourse, I became alerted to all this by the work and writings of thoughtful experts. For example, I have carefully read and now recommend Moral Warriors, Moral Wounds: The Ministry of the Christian Ethic by Wollom A. Jensen and friend James M. Childs, Jr. One is a military chaplain and the other a theological ethicist; the two provide close-up and soul-deep analyses and reports.
Dr. Jensen is a retired Navy chaplain (Captain) and Read more
Though only recently publicized, the Arizona Coalition of Military Families hosted the 2016 Statewide Symposium in Support of Service Members, Veterans and their Families at precisely the same time the Air Force Reserve Command was hosting its somewhat infamous conference.
The published article is somewhat vague, spending more time talking about the chaplaincy in general than the symposium itself. But there were some important quotes [emphasis added]: Read more
by Sonny Hernandez
On April 18-21, 2016, the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) Chaplain Corps Conference commenced in Chicago, IL. The theme of this aforementioned conference was “soul care” and “moral injury.” The keynote civilian speakers for this event were: Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock and Dr. Jonathan Shay, who were publicized as being world renowned experts in the field of moral injury. Unfortunately, there were Air Force chaplains that left the conference who experienced “moral injury” after being forced to listen to Read more