A fascinating piece at the Australian military’s The Cove asks an important question: With all the focus on PTSD, are we forgetting post traumatic growth?
Highlighting only chronic illness amongst veterans however, risks creating an unhelpful sense of expectancy that illness will follow service…
This illness narrative does not align with the experiences of many veterans from both historic and contemporary operations, who have endured varying levels of trauma, but grew from these experiences.
Author Tim Robinson notes the idea has been around for awhile, and James Mattis — now Secretary of Defense for the US military — has proffered it as well: 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
Military and veteran atheists, transgenders, and homosexuals are in conflict over President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate retired Gen James Mattis for Secretary of Defense.
Military atheists have been generally supportive of Gen Mattis, noting he was wildly popular as a leader and, speaking to their primary concern, never gave them reason to worry over issues of religion. (As an example of the conduct that helped his subordinates respect him, consider how he reacted when his pilots landed at the wrong airport.)
This has put some atheists at odds with their sometimes allies in the LGBT movement, who see Mattis as a potential means for Trump to undo their “progress” over the past few years — though they can’t directly connect it to a religious issue over which to complain.
That said, Don Branum, a former US Air Force Academy Public Affairs staffer who has implied he was improperly treated for speaking his views against Christians, still managed to claim Mattis is Read more
As has been highlighted here before, troops may come home from war with many types of wounds — physical, mental, and even spiritual. Much of the non-physical wound care has focused on PTSD, but for a few years advocates have been trying to raise the importance of the moral injuries that troops may bring home:
Moral injury is when veterans feel extreme guilt and shame from something they did or witnessed in conflict that goes against their values…The term was introduced in the 1990s by a now-retired Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Shay, who diagnosed Read more
Thomas Gibbons-Neff of Georgetown University pens a fascinating read on moral injury, a reaction to war distinct from, but often confused with, post traumatic stress.
Moral injury is a nebulous term that few use seriously because it doesn’t read well on Veterans Affairs claims. It’s a new term but not a new concept. Moral injury is as timeless as war — going back to when Ajax thrust himself upon his sword on the shores of Troy. Unlike post-traumatic stress, which is a result of a fear-conditioned response, moral injury is a feeling of existential disorientation that manifests as intense guilt…
As discussed here many times, moral Read more
A local campus of Rick Warren’s California Saddleback Church hosted special Memorial Day services on Sunday, including a visit from a local wounded warrior:
Machine gunner Sedrick Hay, who has been a part of 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, 2nd Battalion 5th Marines and currently, the Wounded Warrior Battalion, will share his story that includes having been deployed three times, once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. He is a member of Saddleback Church and will lead those attending in a moment of prayer.
The article notes this is not a one-off ministry event for Saddleback. Rather, the church has partnered with the military at Camp Pendleton to provide a variety of support services for members of the military: Read more