Hot Off the Press!
The new book on Exploring Moral Injury in Sacred Texts has just been released by JKP Press. Edited by Dr. Joseph McDonald, with a foreword by Dr. Rita N. Brock, it contains essays from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and American civil religion. Contributors include former and current Soul Repair Board members Rabbi Dr. David Blumenthal, Dr. Amir Hussain, and Rev. Michael Yandell. In addition, Brite Professor Dr. Warren Carter contributed an essay, and others include leading scholars such as Dr. Kelly. CLICK HERE to learn how you can get a free copy of the book.
For media stories about Soul Repair go to this page
Audio, Video and Webinars
Novels and Other Fiction
Sexual Violence in the Military
Ministers and Congregations
Moral Injury Meetings Guidebooks
Soul Repair Homepage
Audio, Video and Webinars
- The Moral Injuries Vets Bring Home, The Brian Lehere Show, April 4, 2014
- Soul Repair from Moral Injury after War, Rita Brock, Rothko Chapel, Feb 20, 2014
- Moral Injury: The Psychological Wounds of War, an interview from Nov, 2013 on NRP’s ‘Talk of the Nation’
- Conversation with Karl Marlantes with NPR’s Steve Kraske
- Rear Admiral Kibben’s “Coming Home” from the Pathways to Hope Conference
- NPR’s Humankind Series Part 7 with David Freudberg on Veterans and Moral Injury
- NPR’s Humankind Series Part 8 with David Freudberg on Veterans and Moral Injury
- CBS Documentary on Moral Injury Aired on Oct. 4, 2015
- How Good People Get Broken and How Recovery Happens Dr.
Rita Nakashima Brock at Eureka College
- Dr. Rita Brock: Presentation at Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School, Sept. 2014 Part 1 and Part 2
- Chautauqua August 2016 presentation by Dr. Rita Brock
- Presentation by Dr. Rita Brock for Volunteers of America, June 2015:
- Dr. Keith Meador of the VA on moral injury and faith communities, featuring Brite graduate Michael Yandell:
- Brite Divinity School and Volunteers of American Veterans Day Chapel Service, at Brite Divinity School, Nov. 11, 2014.
- “Bringing Our Veterans All the Way Home” Midland, Texas, Oct 2014
- The Human Cost of War: IVAW Testimony by Jacob David George
- Wounded Priest, from PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, July 11, 2014
- Religious Outreach to Veterans, from PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, June 13, 2014
- Rita Brock Extended Interview with PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, June 13, 2014
- Moral Injury: The Moral Wounds Of War, David Wood, HuffPost’s Military Correspondent, turns an investigative lens on Moral Injury – a mental health condition that service men and women face when their actions in battle contradict their moral values. We talk to veterans and experts.
- The Moral Weight of War, Bill Edmonds, Clark University, November 12, 2015
- Soul Repair from Moral Injury after War, Rita Brock, Rothko Chapel, Feb 20, 2014
- 2014 Willson Lectures at Earlham School of Religion, with Rita Brock
- Oklahoma Institute for Biblical Literacy, November 1-2, 2013, Part one, Part two
- Moral Injuries in War, an interview with Chaplain (Col.) Herman Keizer, Jr. U.S. Army (ret.)
- Invisible Wounds: Helping Those Dealing with Moral Injury
- Truth Commission on Conscience in War Testimonies
- Tyler Boudreau Testimony
- Jake Diliberto Testimony Part One and Part Two
- Camilo Mejia Testimony Part One and Part Two
- Camillo Mac Bica Testimony Part One and Part Two
- Herman Keizer Jr. Testimony Part One and Part Two
- Joshua Casteel Testimony
- Pamela Lightsey Testimony Part One and Part Two
- Doug Krantz Testimony
- Logan Mehl-Laituri Testimony
- Jonathan Shay Testimony
- Chris Hedges Testimony
- J E McNeil Testimony
- Nurah Amat’ulla Testimony
- Celeste Zappala Testimony Part One and Part Two
- Pamela’s Story, Soul Repair Center Launch, November 2012
- Logan’s Story, Soul Repair Center Launch, November 2012
- Michael’s Story, Soul Repair Center Launch, November 2012
- Camillo’s Story, Soul Repair Center Launch, November 2012
Acton, Carol, and Jane Potter. Working in a World of Hurt: Trauma and Resilience in the Narratives of Medical Personnel in Warzones. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2015.
Working in a world of hurt fills a significant gap in the studies of the psychological trauma wrought by war. It focuses not on soldiers, but on the men and women who fought to save them in casualty clearing stations, hospitals and prison camps. The writings by doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and other medical personnel reveal the spectrum of their responses that range from breakdown to resilience. Through a rich analysis of both published and unpublished personal from the First World War in the early twentieth century to Iraq in the early twenty-first, Acton and Potter put centre stage the letters, diaries, memoirs and weblogs that have chronicled physical and emotional suffering, many for the first time.
Armstrong, Keith, Suzanne Best, and Paula Domenici. Courage after Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families. Berkeley: Ulysses, 2006.
A series of advice for returning soldiers from a panel of highly qualified authors; this book brings a practical touch for those who may be dealing with moral injury. Some of the topics it addresses include reconnecting with loved ones combating war reactions, returning to work and community, and readjustment.
Asken, Michael J., Loren W. Christensen, and Dave Grossman. Warrior Mindset: Mental Toughness Skills for a Nation’s Defenders : Performance Psychology Applied to Combat. Millstadt, Ill.: Human Factor Research Group, 2010.
While physical readiness and training are vital in ensuring police officers and military personnel are able to react appropriately in stressful situations, just as essential, if not more so, in confronting dangerous or stressful situations is mental toughness. Military personnel and police officers are expected to be able to keep their cool under pressure, focus, and make difficult decisions under life and death circumstances. Warrior Mindset focuses on the concepts and psychological skills needed to develop the mental and psychological toughness military personnel and police officers need when confronting dangerous situations.
Assmann, Aleida. Shadows of Trauma: Memory and the Politics of Postwar Identity. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2016.
Memory is a fluid construct that is often obstructed through trauma. Experiences of violence and extremes may not be remembered factually as they were lived, but that does not make the memories invalid or false. Aleida Assmann explores the effects of repression and communal memory throughout her work on the politics of postwar identity as they relate to memory.
Benderman, Kevin, and Monica Benderman. Letters from Fort Lewis Brig: A Matter of Conscience. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2007.
Kevin Benderman, a ten year army veteran who served in the initial invasion of Iraq and his wife, Monica Benderman detail his journey from an esteemed military sergeant, whose family ties to the military can be traced to the American Revolution to a conscientious objector who was dishonorably discharged, received a demotion in rank to private, and faced 13 months of imprisonment for refusing to redeploy to Iraq with his unit. He discusses how his decision to file for conscientious objector status was influenced by witnessing the deaths of fellow soldiers and civilians and by being given orders that compromised the safety of his soldiers and/or civilians. For example he explicates his shock on being commanded to shoot local civilian children who would climb on walls to watch what the soldiers were doing. He also elucidates that he was harassed by his superiors for filing for conscientious objector status and that proper military protocol was not followed in dealing with his application.
Benedict, Helen. The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq. Boston: Beacon Press, 2009
The stories of several military women who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The collection of works tell stories of discrimination, and conscience in warfare. The Lonely Soldier has been key in spurring reform in the military’s handling of sexual assault and women’s rights.
Bica, Camillo Mac. Beyond PTSD: The Moral Casualties of War. Commack, NY: Gnosis Press, 2016.
Camillo “Mac” Bica Ph.D. is a former Marine Corps Officer, Vietnam Veteran, and a philosopher. He wrestles with the “psychological, emotional, and moral injuries of war,” through this collection of essays. He rejects the clinical model and claims that the invisible wounds of war go beyond trauma. This book is part of the War Legacy Series, which works to provide a greater understanding of the war experience and to dispel the mythology of heroism by providing an insight into the reality of war.
Boudreau, Tyler E. Packing Inferno: The Unmaking of a Marine. Port Townsend, WA: Feral House, 2008.
Boudreau joined the military at seventeen but didn’t deploy into a war zone until he was in his 30s. He recounts the thirst he felt, from his first enlistment until his deployment, for action and to experience war. Before, during, and after deployment he had heard the oft-repeated phrase, “war is hell” and while he does not minimize the actual experience of being in a war zone, for Boudreau the decent into hell does not truly begin until one returns home. Boudreau recounts the high expectations and fascinations for war that many in the military have before deploying and how war permanently alters those who serve, often in ways that they and their families at first cannot comprehend. Boudreau also discusses the importance of allowing veterans to tell their stories. However, veterans often find that if their stories don’t conform to the heroic narrative-if they express guilt or doubt about what they have seen or done, their stories are often dismissed by well-meaning civilians and by fellow service members and veterans.
Bouvard, Marguerite Guzman. Invisible Wounds of War: Coming Home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2012.
This empathic, inside look into the lives of our combat veterans reveals the lingering impact that the longest wars in our nation’s history continue to have on far too many of our finest young people. Basing her account on numerous interviews with veterans and their families, the author examines the factors that have made these recent conflicts especially trying. A major focus of the book is the extreme duress that is a daily part of a soldier’s life in combat zones with no clear frontlines or perimeters.
Bowden, Lisa ed. Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq. Tuscon, AZ: Kore Press, 2008.
Powder brings us poetry and personal essays from 19 women who have served in all branches of the United States military. Contributors to Powder have seen conflicts from Somalia to Vietnam to Desert Shield. Many are book authors and winners of writing awards and fellowships; several hold MFAs from some of the country’s finest programs. The essays and poems here are inspired by an attempted rape by a Navy SEAL; an album of photos of the enemy dead; heat exhaustion in Mosul; a first jump from an airplane; fending off advances from Iraqi men; interrogating suspected terrorists; the contemplation of suicide; and a poignant connection with women and children in Bosnia.
Brock, Rita Nakashima., and Gabriella Lettini. Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War. Boston: Beacon Press, 2012.
Through the stories of two Vietnam veterans, Camillo “Mac” Bica and Herman Keizer Jr., and five Iraq veterans, Kevin Benderman, Tyler Boudreau, Joshua Casteel, Dweylon Fifer, and Camilo Mejia, the authors explore the devastating effects of moral injury on veterans. Through each chapter, the veterans explain their motives for enlisting, describe key experiences in deployment, reflect upon their struggles after returning, and discuss how they have come to terms with their moral injury. The book also stresses the responsibility society has in supporting the recovery of the ones that we send to war.
Buckley, Gail Lumet. American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm. New York: Random House, 2002.
A dramatic and moving tribute to the military’s unsung heroes, American Patriots tells the story of the black servicemen and women who defended American ideals on the battlefield, even as they faced racism in the ranks and segregation on the home front. Through hundreds of original interviews with veterans of every war since World War I, historic accounts, and photographs, Gail Buckley brings these heroes and their struggles to life.
Busch, Benjamin. Dust to Dust: A Memoir. New York: Ecco Press, 2012.
Much more than a war memoir, Dust to Dust brilliantly explores the passage through a lifetime—a moving meditation on life and death, the adventures of childhood and revelations of adulthood. Seemingly ordinary things take on a breathtaking radiance when examined by this decorated Marine officer—veteran of two combat tours in Iraq.
Calica, Lovella, ed. After Action Review. Chico, CA: Warrior Writers. 2011.
A collection of writing and artwork from veterans of the Global War on Terror.
Cantrell, Bridget C., and Chuck Dean. Once a Warrior: Wired for Life. Seattle, WA: WordSmith Publishing, 2007.
Dr. Cantrell is a clinician specializing in PTSD and Chuck Dean served as a combat veteran in Vietnam and in 2004 was asked by the US Army to aid paratroopers in readjusting to civilian life after their deployment to Iraq. Cantrell and Dean provide detailed descriptions of the challenges military personnel face when adjusting to civilian life in order to provide the reader with enough information to recognize behaviors and symptoms that signal difficulties in readjusting to life outside of a combat zone. They identify and examine common pitfalls military personnel face when returning home. They also discuss how military personnel can capitalize on the skills and knowledge they gained through their military experience.
Capps, Walter H. The Unfinished War: Vietnam and the American Conscience. 2nd ed. Boston: Beacon Press, 1990.
Even though the Vietnam War ended on May 1, 1975 Capps argues in his 1990, revised edition of The Unfinished War that the Vietnam War not only impacted the lives of those injured or family members whose loved ones were killed or went missing but the war also had lasting effects on American culture. The Vietnam War shattered the myth that justice and morality were linked with American military might. The Vietnam War also impacted religious and social institutions as Americans struggled with making sense and/or moving on from the Vietnam War. For example, Capps asserts that the rise in Protestant Conservatism and the heavy emphasis on individuality and placing confidence solely on oneself and not on collective institutions can be viewed as ramifications from the controversial war.
Casteel, Joshua. Letters from Abu Ghraib. [Ithaca, NY]: Essay Press, 2008.
In a series of emails, Joshua Casteel who served as an US Army interrogator and Arabic linguist in the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, chronicles his struggle with reconciling his role as an interrogator at Abu Bhraib and his evangelical Christian faith.
Driscoll, Patricia P., and Celia Straus. Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts: Stories of American Soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD. Drexel Hill, PA: Casemate, 2009.
A mixture of interviews with combat veterans and their families and essays written by mental health professionals, members of the VA (Veterans Affairs), and veteran advocates provide an account of the challenges combat veterans and their families face as veterans attempt to reintegrate into civilian society while grappling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and/or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Veterans grapple with what they have witnessed and experienced in war, re-establishing relationships with family members, finding work, and receiving adequate health care for wounds that are not physically visible. This book not only shares the stories of veterans and their family members but also serves as a rallying cry to ensure that veterans receive the medical treatment they deserve.
Ellis, Deborah. Off to War: Voices of the Soldiers Children. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2010.
In frank and revealing interviews children of soldiers discuss how their parent’s military experience has marked and shaped their lives. The children talk on military bases, in the streets, in their homes, and over the phone. They speak with remarkable candor about how war has touched their daily lives, and they remind us that although they may be living safely in North America, children always suffer when nations go to war.
Fortune, Marie M. Sexual Violence: The Sin Revisited. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2005.
An important read for anyone in ministry or leadership who wishes to be able to promote an environment that prevents sexual violence and promotes healing for victims. Addressed to the church in particular, the information in Sexual Violence: The Sin Revisited provides a incredibly useful tool for any sort of leadership development, boundary training, or child protection policy.
Glasser, Ronald J. Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds: A Medical Odyssey from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Palisades, NY: History Pub., 2011.
In the book’s foreword, Retired Lt. General Harold Moore briefly mentions the similarities between the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and Vietnam: not enough troops deployed, inability to seal the borders, and lack of exit strategies. However, as Glasser details in the book, there are notable differences between the wars, especially when it comes to the type of injuries that troops are sustaining and surviving in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. In Vietnam, injuries from small arms fire and automatic weapon rounds were the war’s signature wounds and those severely wounded often died. Brain injuries of any kind were generally fatal. In the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars IEDS are the weapon of choice and the seriously wounded are surviving-with wounds both visible wounds (missing limbs) and invisible (PTSD, TBI). Glasser chronicles the difference in medical treatment and injuries between the Vietnam and the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and the challenges that those wounded in America’s current/recent wars face.
Goodell, Jess, and John E. Hearn. Shade It Black: Death and after in Iraq. Philadelphia: Casemate Publishers, 2011.
Jess Goodell, as part of the Marine Corps first official mortuary unit in Iraq, was charged with the task of diagramming the outlines of deceased marines and shading any missing parts black. Goodell describes in her memoir her personal struggles with coming to terms with witnessing the fatal effects of war. Those back home in the States are often shielded from witnessing the death and destruction of war while Goodell saw death on a daily basis. She discusses the difficulty veterans face in holding onto their humanity in the midst of so much pain and destruction as well as the unique challenges female servicemembers face in the service and back home.
Grossman, Dave. On Killing. Boston: Little, Brown, 2009.
Grossman examines humanity’s resistance to killing, the psychological toll killing can take on the human psyche, and the various ways that a person’s resistance to killing can be overcome, at least temporarily, through modern conditioning, for example, replicating in a realistic manner combat conditions and training servicemembers to respond appropriately to threatening situations. In the last section of his book, Grossman focuses on how media violence is desensitizing children to violence and that children’s repeated exposure to violence though TV shows or video games serves as a form of conditioning, contributing to instances of bullying and school violence.
Holmstedt, Kirsten A. Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2007.
A compelling series of testimonies and stories on women in combat, and the fight not to identify as a female soldier, but as a soldier, fully competent and capable just like any other soldier. It touches the fight faced by women all over the world, and is highlighted by the extreme nature of combat and the military in general.
Litz, Brett T. et al. Adaptive Disclosure: A New Treatment for Military Trauma, Loss, and Moral Injury. New York, NY: Guilford Press, 2016.
Brett Litz and his team have compiled a great insight as to what military counseling could look like under an Adaptive Disclosure model that they outline. This method of counseling has the potential to change how counseling could occur within a military context. The book is beautifully drawn in a way that facilitates freedom of adaptation but still gives a solid framework.
Marlantes, Karl. What It Is like to Go to War. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011.
Karl Marlantes maintains that while young men and women are well prepared and trained to fight war on a technical and tactical level, they are woefully unprepared emotionally and spiritually. He acknowledges that such preparation cannot not be taught at an institutional level but needs to be done by each individual. He recounts his own experience in Vietnam, as a twenty three year old second lieutenant responsible for the lives under him and his struggles to find peace with what he witnessed and experienced in war.
Meagher, Robert E. Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and just War. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2015.
Armies know all about killing. It is what they do, and ours does it more effectively than most. We are painfully coming to realize, however, that we are also especially good at killing our own “from the inside out” silently, invisibly. In every major war since Korea, more of our veterans have taken their lives than have lost them in combat. The latest research, rooted in veteran testimony, reveals that the most severe and intractable PTSD-fraught with shame, despair, and suicide-stems from “moral injury” But how can there be rampant moral injury in what our military, our government, our churches, and most everyone else call just wars? At the root of our incomprehension lies just war theory-developed, expanded, and updated across the centuries to accommodate the evolution of warfare, its weaponry, its scale, and its victims.
Mehl-Laituri, Logan. Reborn on the Fourth of July: The Challenge of Faith, Patriotism & Conscience. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2012.
Logan Mehl-Laituri details his experience in Iraq in 2005 as a forward observer/fire support specialist, his struggles with PTSD, and his attempts to reconcile his new found faith, with war and military service. Does God command violence as part of the divine plan? Does God ‘bless’ war? How does one reconcile the commandment to love ones enemies and yet still face the possibility of killing them? For Mehl-Laituri, his faith and combat service are incompatible. He believes that he cannot serve God faithfully while facing the possibility of being called upon to kill others in combat. Logan Mehl Laituri invites the reader to consider deeply the consequences of war, and what it means to be a “patriot” and a person of faith.
Mejía, Camilo. Road from Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejía. New York: New Press, 2007.
Camilo Mejia chronicles his five month deployment on the front lines in Iraq and his dawning realization that the war was unjust. He recounts his attempts to apply for conscientious objector status, his very public opposition toward the Iraq war, and his experience spending nine months in jail after being charged and convicted with desertion.
Moon, Zachary. Coming Home: Ministry That Matters with Veterans and Military Families. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2015.
Dr. Moon offers a practical and well thought out book that will help religious institutions and ministers provide care to military families better. The book discusses needs of soldiers and military families, and the current flaws to how we approach or try to help them. The book is filled with testimonies from military affiliated people who give perspectives to many different experiences of the military and religious community.
Peters, David W. Death Letter: God, Sex, and War. Colorado Springs: Tactical 16, LLC, 2014.
A nonfiction memoir of a chaplain’s experiences in war in the form of a gripping narrative with an enlightening picture of the anguish experienced by this Chaplain.
Rambo, Shelly. Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010.
Rambo draws on contemporary studies in trauma to rethink a central claim of the Christian faith: that new life arises from death. Reexamining the narrative of the death and resurrection of Jesus from the middle day-liturgically named as Holy Saturday-she seeks a theology that addresses the experience of living in the aftermath of trauma. Through a reinterpretation of “remaining” in the Johannine Gospel, she proposes a new theology of the Spirit that challenges traditional conceptions of redemption. Offered, in its place, is a vision of the Spirit’s witness from within the depths of human suffering to the persistence of divine love.
Ritchie, Elspeth Cameron, Anne L. Naclerio. Women at War. New York, Ny. Oxford University Press, 2015.
A comprehensive text for women’s health and mental health needs after deployment. It provides the medical field with information to treat and prevent illness amongst female soldiers. It discusses issues on deployment, reproductive health, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), implications of traumatic brain injury, and many more crucial topics when making informed decisions of the effects on women in combat.
Shay, Jonathan. Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character. New York: Atheneum, 1994.
Clinical psychiatrist Jonathan Shay highlights the parallels between Homer’s “Iliad” and the experience of Vietnam veterans wrestling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Shay contends that Homer focuses on two events that frequently occur in continuous heavy combat: “betrayal of what’s right by a commander, and the onset of a berserk state”(xiii). Shay’s primary purpose in writing the book is not to provide a classical exegesis of the text but to inform the public about the trauma of war and the need for the public to care about the stories and experiences of veterans in the hopes of taking measures that lessen psychological injury.
Sherman, Nancy. Afterwar: Healing the Moral Injuries of Our Soldiers. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Dr. Sherman uses this work to explore the internal war soldiers face daily. She combines ethics, psychology, and military experience to draw a holistic picture of what veterans are facing. She discusses the types and causes of withdrawal that many veterans go through, and more importantly begins a discussion and proposes solutions as to how to treat many of these people and their symptoms. The novel wrestles with feelings of brokenness and betrayal shared by many military personnel, and moral aguish which is common to almost all.
Sherman, Nancy. The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010.
Sherman uses a mixture of philosophical and psychoanalytic analysis as well as interviews with veterans to examine the struggles military personnel undergo as they wrestle with understanding the morality of what they have experienced during war. Furthermore, she details the inner turmoil that results from their endeavor to integrate their civilian selves (who they were before they entered the military and/or went to war and who they are expected to be once they return) with their roles and experiences as service members. Sherman asserts that the dichotomy between their civilian lives and their roles as service members, between their understanding of what is “right” and/or “moral” and what they are expected and need to do during war (which may or may not fit in with their notions of morality) are not easily separated. How can service members hold onto their sense of humanity in the face of violence and moral ambiguity? How can they deal honestly with the realization that their expectations of war may not always live up to the reality, without becoming consumed with guilt and shame? For example she details the story of Ted Westhusing, a brilliant and intelligent officer whose “moral idealism” clashed with “the reality of a corrosive war” and who unable to reconcile his high standards with the reality of war died by suicide (240).
Slone, Laurie B., and Matthew J. Friedman. After the War Zone: A Practical Guide for Returning Troops and Their Families. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Lifelong, 2008.
The military heavily prepares their service members for deployment to a war zone but very little preparation is given for their reintegration to civilian society. One might wonder why any preparation is needed since homecoming is often portrayed as a joyous experience. As Slone and Friedman explicate during the deployment not only did the service member change but so did friends and loved ones left behind. The purpose of this book is to provide practical information for military personnel and family and friends on the challenges that might occur during the reintegration process. Some military personnel may struggle with depression, PTSD, and alcoholism and might need professional help. The authors are quick to stress that such challenges should not be viewed as a sign of weakness.
Tyger, George. War Zone Faith: An Army Chaplain’s Reflections from Afghanistan. Boston, Ma. Skinner House Books, 2013.
A series of short reflections from an Army Chaplain on the perspective he has gained from serving in a warzone, filled with quick devotional type thoughts that invoke a greater understanding of a soldier’s daily task.
Van Der Kolk, Bessel. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New York, NY: Penguin Group LLC, 2014.
The Body Keeps the Score transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. It shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies.
Verkamp, Bernard J. The Moral Treatment of Returning Warriors in Early Medieval and Modern times. Scranton: University of Scranton Press, 2006.
Verkamp contrasts the nature of war and the treatment of returning warriors as practiced in the early medieval period with the treatment veterans receive today. On the one hand in the early medieval period, warriors who killed even for sake of king and/or religion were considered to be sinners, on the other hand there were rituals in place that not only offered the returning warriors penance and an opportunity to reestablish their place in the society, but the rituals served as an acknowledgement of all that they had been through. However, in the modern period, such rituals are nonexistent and warriors are left to grapple with their guilt and pain while often having their guilt dismissed by psychiatrists and religious leaders. Verkamp draws from a variety of sources including St. Augustine, Athanasius, Ernest Hemingway, and Albert Camus in his analysis.
Watkins, Mary, and Helene Shulman. Toward Psychologies of Liberation: Critical Theory and Practice in Psychology and the Human Sciences. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
“Psychologies of liberation are emerging on event continent in response to the collective traumas inflicted by colonialism and globalization.” Along with the physical violence associated with colonialism and globalization, there are invisible wounds which inflict communities for generations to come. Watkins and Shulman engage creative and new ways in which to begin and continue the healing processes of these communities. The dialogues and analysis produced by this work can be crucial in the process of healing for both the victim and the perpetrator. Both theories and practical application come together in this to create a basis for both communal and individual transformation.
Wood, David. What have we done?: The Moral Injury of our Longest Wars. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company, 2016.
In this groundbreaking new book, David Wood examines the far more pervasive yet less understood experience of those we send to war: moral injury, the violation of our fundamental values of right and wrong that so often occurs in the impossible moral dilemmas of modern conflict. Featuring portraits of combat veterans and leading mental health researchers, along with Wood’s personal observations of war and the young Americans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, What Have We Done? offers an unflinching look at war and those who volunteer for it: the thrill and pride of service and, too often, the scars of moral injury.
Phil Klay, Redeployment, Penguin Press, 2014.
Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, Grover Press, 2010.
Kevin Powers, Yellow Birds: A Novel, Back Bay Books, 2013.
Kerr, Laura K. “Responding to Moral Injury in Veterans.” Laura K. Kerr Ph.D. (2017).
Benjamin, Claudie. “Behind the Games- Moral Injury and Veterans.” VAntage Point (2016).
Boorstein, Michelle. “What Happens when the Military Chaplain is Shaken by War.” Washington Post (2016).
Caiazzo, Greg. “The Military Chaplain.” Military Chaplain’s Association United States of America 89, no. 1, Spring 2016 (2016).2015-MCA_Spring 2016_web
DeMoss, Dustin. “The Dilemma of a Soldier’s Choices.” in Huffington Post Politics [database online]. 3/23/2016 [cited 2016].
Dripchak, Valerie L., and Jamshid A. Marvasti. “Moral Injury in War Veterans: Seeking Invisible Wounds.” Social Work Today, no. September/October (2016).
Freudberg, David. “Veterans Healing from ‘Moral Injury’.” Huffington Post (2016).
Hauff, Natalie C. “Chaplains Begin Treating Veterans for Newly Designated ‘Moral Injury’.” The Post and Courier (2016).
Maguen, Shira. “Moral Injury and the Need for Innovative Treatment.” in Center for Deployment Psychology.
Marty, Martin. “Moral Injury.” in The University of Chicago Divinity School [database online]. Chicago, Il 29 August 2016
Mckinley, Lara”From Boots to Books.” in Chapman University [database online]. 3/15/2016
Morris, Joshua “How to Help Veterans Returning Home from War.” in World Religion News [database online]. 3/11/2016 [cited 2016]
Nauert, Rick. “Army Psychologist’s Death Spurs New Findings on Vet’s Suicide Risk.” Psych Central (2016).
Scranton, Roy. “Choosing War.” Dissent Magazine, Winter 2016 2016,.
Smith, Case. “Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Talks about the Human Impact of War.” Downtown Devil: The front page of downtown Pheonix (2016).
Moral Injury: Troops Talk of how War Assaults Conscience .” in Navy Times [database online]. November 19, 2015. Available from http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2015/11/19/moral-injury-troops-talk-how-war-assaults-conscience/76000632/.
K. Backholm and T. Idås, “Ethical Dilemmas, Work-Related Guilt, and Posttraumatic Stress Reactions of News Journalists Covering the Terror Attack in Norway in 2011,” Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 142-148.
A.O. Bryan, J.L. Theriault, C.J. Bryan, “Self-forgiveness, posttraumatic stress, and suicide attempts among military personnel and veterans,” Traumatology, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 40-46.
C.J. Bryan, “Adjusting our aim: Next steps in military and veteran suicide prevention,” Spirituality in Clinical Practice, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 84-85.
A.I. Cantoa, M.L. McMackinb, S.C.W. Haydenc, K.A. Jefferya and D.S. Osborna, “Military veterans: Creative counseling with student veterans,” Journal of Poetry Therapy: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Practice, Theory, Research and Education, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp.147-163.
M. Congdon, “Wronged beyond words: On the publicity and repression of moral injury,” Philosophy and Social Criticism, first published on April 22, 2015, doi:10.1177/0191453715580158.
M.A. Cornish and N.G. Wade, “A Therapeutic Model of Self-Forgiveness With Intervention Strategies for Counselors,” Journal of Counseling & Development, Vol. 93, No. 1, pp. 96-104.
C.J. Bryan, E. Graham, E. Roberge, “Living a life worth living: Spirituality and suicide risk in military personnel,” Spirituality in Clinical Practice, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 74-78.
J.M. Currier, K.D. Drescher, J.M. Holland, R. Lisman & D.W. Foy, “Spirituality, Forgiveness, and Quality of Life: Testing a Mediational Model with Military Veterans with PTSD,” International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, first published on Feb 26, 2015, doi:10.1080/10508619.2015.1019793.
J.M. Currier, J. Holland, and J. Malott, “Moral Injury, Meaning Making, and Mental Health in Returning Veterans,” Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 71, No. 3, pp. 229-240.
J.M. Currier, J.M. Holland, K. Drescher, “Initial Psychometric Evaluation of the Moral Injury Questionnaire—Military Version,” Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 54-63.
J.M Currier, J.M. Holland, L. Rojas-Flores, S. Herrera, D. Foy, “Morally injurious experiences and meaning in Salvadorian teachers exposed to violence,” Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 24-33.
J.M. Currier, S. Kuhlman, P.N. Smith, “Empirical and ethical considerations for addressing spirituality among veterans and other military populations at risk for suicide,” Spirituality in Clinical Practice, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 68-73
J.M. Currier, W. McCormick, K.D. Drescher, “How do morally injurious events occur? A qualitative analysis of perspectives of veterans with PTSD,” Traumatology, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 106-116.
J. Davis, “Four Ways Life Extension will Change Our Relationship with Death,” Bioethics, first published on April 23, 2015.
P. Devenish-Meares, “Call to Compassionate Self-Care: Introducing Self-Compassion Into the Workplace Treatment Process,” Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 75-87.
C. Doehring, “Resilience as the Relational Ability to Spiritually Integrate Moral Stress,” Pastoral Psychology, first published on April 16, 2015, doi:10.1007/s11089-015-0643-7.
M. Faini, “The Bodies and Spaces of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, Issue 6.
P.C. Ferrajão and R.A. Oliveira, “The Effects of Combat Exposure, Abusive Violence, and Sense of Coherence on PTSD and Depression in Portuguese Colonial War Veterans,” Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, first published on April 13, 2015.
P.C. Ferrajão and R.A. Oliveira, “From self-integration in personal schemas of morally experiences to self-awareness of mental states: A qualitative study among a sample of Portuguese war veterans,” Traumatology, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 22-31.
P.C. Ferrajão and R.A. Oliveira, “Portuguese War Veterans: Moral Injury and Factors Related to Recovery From PTSD,” Qualitative Health Research, first published on February 23, 2015.
D.W. Foy and K.D. Drescher, “Faith and honor in trauma treatment for military personnel and their families,” in Spiritually oriented psychotherapy for trauma. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 2015, pp. 233-252.
CH MAJ S. George, “Moral Injury and the Problem of Facing Religious Authority,” Fort Leavenworth Ethics Symposium, 20-23 April 2015.
J. Harris, C.L. Park, J.M. Currier, and T.J. Usset, “Moral Injury and Psycho-Spiritual Development: Considering the Developmental Context,” Spirituality in Clinical Practice, first published on Jan 19, 2015.
R. Hiraoka, E.C. Meyer, N.A. Kimbrel, B.B. DeBeer, S.B. Gulliver and S.B. Morissette, “Self-Compassion as a Prospective Predictor of PTSD Symptom Severity Among Trauma-Exposed U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans,” Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 127-133.
W. Kinghorn, “Moral Engagement, Combat Trauma, and the Lure of Psychiatric Dualism: Why Psychiatry Is More Than a Technical Discipline,” Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 28-37.
M.S. Kopacz, “Spirituality and suicide prevention: Charting a course for research and clinical practice,” Spirituality in Clinical Practice, Vol. 2, No 1, pp. 79-81.
M.S. Kopacz and A.L Connery, “The veteran spiritual struggle,” Spirituality in Clinical Practice, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 61-67.
M.S. Kopacz, J.M. McCarten, C.G. Vance, A.L. Connery, “A preliminary study for exploring different sources of guilt in a sample of veterans who sought chaplaincy services,” Military Psychology, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 1-8.
M. Levinson, “Moral Injury and the Ethics of Educational Injustice,” Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 85, No. 2, pp. 203-228.
C. Manda, “Re-authoring Life Narratives of Trauma Survivors: Spiritual Perspective,” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, Vol. 71, No. 2, pp. 1-8.
T. Minkowitz, ESQ. “Decision-Making and Moral Injury,” Mad In America, published on June 22, 2015.
L.C Musto, P.A. Rodney, and R. Vanderheide, “Toward Interventions to Address Moral Distress: Navigating Structure and Agency,” Nursing Ethics, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 91-102.
A. Nazarov, R. Jetly, H. McNeely, M. Kiang, R. Lanius, and M. C. McKinnon, “Role of morality in the experience of guilt and shame within the armed forces,” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Vol. 132, No. 1, pp. 4-19.
A. Nickerson, U. Schnyder, R.A. Bryant, M. Schick, J. Mueller, N. Morina, “Moral Injury in Traumatized Refugees,” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 122-123.
K. O’Donnell, “Help for Heroes: PTSD, Warrior Recovery, and the Liturgy,” Journal of Religion and Health, first published on March 21, 2015, doi:10.1007/s1094301500345.
F. Shapiro and D. Laliotis, “EMDR Therapy for Trauma-Related Disorders,” pp. 205-228 in Evidence Based Treatments for Trauma-Related Psychological Disorders.
M.D. Sherman, J.I. Harris, C. Erbes, “Clinical Approaches to Addressing Spiritual Struggle in Veterans With PTSD,” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 203-212.
Special Issue: Military Social Work Education: Innovative Strategies and Implications for Social Work Practice, Journal of Social Work Education, Vol. 51, Supp. 1.
Pond, Allison. “How Churches can Better Help Veterans Recover from Spiritual Wounds
.” Desert News National (Nov 6, 2015).
“Moral Injury in the Context of War.” Shira Maguen and Brett Litz
W.R. Sterner and L.R. Jackson-Cherry, “The Influence of Spirituality and Religion on Coping for Combat-Deployed Military Personnel,” Counseling and Values, Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 48–66.
Chaplain (Maj.) Sean Wead, “Ethics, Combat, and a Soldier’s Decision to Kill,” Military Review, March-April 2015, pp. 69-81.
R.J. Westphal and S.P. Convoy, “Military Culture Implications for Mental Health and Nursing Care,” Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol. 20 Issue 1, p. 1.
M. M. Alvarado, “The Beginning of the End of War,” Sojourners, January 2014
R. Brock and G. Lettini, “Coming Home is Hell: Moral Injury After War,” The Bloomsbury Guide to Pastoral Care, Bernadette Flanagan and Sharon Thornton, eds. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014, pp. 139-149.
Grohowski, Mariana. “Moving Words, Words That Move: Language Practices Plaguing U.S. Servicewomen.” Women and Language, 37(1):121-130. 2014. https://www.scribd.com/doc/299357727/Moving-Words-Words-that-Move-Language-Practices-Plaguing-U-S-Servicewomen
A. Bryan, C. Bryan, C. Morrow, N. Etienne, B Ray-Sannerud, “Moral injury, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts in a military sample,” Traumatology, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 154-160.
J. Currier, K. Drescher, J.I. Harris, “Spiritual functioning among veterans seeking residential treatment for PTSD: A matched control group study,” Spirituality in Clinical Practice, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 3-15.
J. Farnsworth, K. Drescher, J. Nieuwsma, R. Walser, J. M. Currier, “The role of moral emotions in military trauma: Implications for the study and treatment of moral injury,” Review of General Psychology, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 249-262.
A. Fiester, “When It Hurts to Ask: Avoiding Moral Injury in Requests to Forgo Treatment,” American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Vol. 93, Issue 3, pp. 260–262.
C. Gilligan, “Moral Injury and the Ethic of Care: Reframing the Conversation about Differences,” The Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 89-106.
M. S. Kopacz, E. Silver, and R. M. Bossarte, “A Position Article for Applying Spirituality to Suicide Prevention,” Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 133-146.
B. Litz, “Clinical heuristics and strategies for service members and veterans with war-related PTSD,” Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 192-205.
B. Litz, “Resilience in the aftermath of war trauma: a critical review and commentary,” Interface Focus, first published on August 22, 2014, doi:10.1098/rsfs.2014.0008.
J. Shay, “Moral injury,” Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 31, No. 2, pp. 182-191.
E. Dombo, C. Gray, and B. Early, “The Trauma of Moral Injury: Beyond the Battlefield,” Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 197-210.
K.D. Drescher, et al, “Moral Injury Themes in Combat Veterans’ Narrative Responses From the National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study,” Traumatology, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 243-250.
S.W. Gibbons, M, Shafer, E.J. Hickling, and G. Ramsey, et. al. “How Do Deployed Health Care Providers Experience Moral Injury?” Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, Vol. 3, No.3, pp. 247-259.
S. Maguen and K, Burkman, “Combat-Related Killing: Expanding Evidence-Based Treatments for PTSD,” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, Vol. 20, Issue 4, pp. 476–479.
Michael Matthews, “The Untold Story of Military Sexual Assault,” New York Times, November 24, 2013.
Jessica Montoya Coggins, The agonizing face of war: Soldiers with PTSD make disturbing masks to express their feelings of horror and frustration, Daily Mail, May 26, 2013.
W. Nash and B. Litz, “Moral Injury: A Mechanism for War-Related Psychological Trauma in Military Family Members,” Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Vol. 16, Issue 4, pp. 365-375.
W. Nash, T. Marino Carper, M. A. Mills , T. Au, A. Goldsmith, B. Litz, “Psychometric Evaluation of the Moral Injury Events Scale,” Military Medicine, Vol. 178, Issue 6,pp. 646–652.
A. A. Howsepian, “Moral Damage and Spiritual Repair in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder,” Christian Research Journal, Vol. 36, No. 2.
Aristotle Popanikolaou, “Learning How to Love: Saint Maximus on Virtue,” from Knowing the Purpose of Creation Through Resurrection” Proceedings from the Symposium on St Maximus the Confessor.
Reflective Practice, 2013, Volume 33, “Spirituality in Formation and Supervision.”
A. F. Vargas, T. Hanson, D. Kraus, K. Drescher, D. Foy, “Moral Injury Themes in Combat Veterans’ Narrative Responses From the National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study,” first published on February 21, 2013, doi:10.1177/1534765613476099.
T. Dokoupil, “A New Theory of PTSD and Veterans: Moral Injury,” Time, December 3, 2012.
A. Howe, A. Smajdor, and A. Stockl, “Towards an understanding of resilience and its relevance to medical training,” Medical Education, Vol. 46, pp. 349–356.
W. Kinghorn, “Combat Trauma and Moral Fragmentation: A Theological Account of Moral Injury,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 57-74.
S. Maguen and B. Litz, “Moral Injury in Veterans of War,” PTSD Research Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 1-3.
S. Maguen, T. Metzler, J. Bosch, C. Marmar, S. Knight, and T. Neylan, “Killing in Combat May Be Independently Associated with Suicidal Ideation,” Depression and Anxiety, Vol. 29, No. 11, pp. 918-923.
J. Shay, “Moral Injury,” Intertexts, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 57-66.
E. Worthington and D. Langberg, “Religious Considerations and Self-Forgiveness in Treating Complex Trauma and Moral Injury in Present and Former Soldiers,” Journal of Psychology and Theology, Vol. 40, No. 4.
T. Boudreau, “The Morally Injured,” Massachusetts Review, Vol. 52, No. 3/4, pp. 746-754.
K.D. Drescher, et al, “An Exploration of the Viability and Usefulness of the Construct of Moral Injury in War Veterans,” Traumatology, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 8-13.
R. Eidelson, M. Pilisuk, S. Soldz, “The dark side of comprehensive soldier fitness,” American Psychologist, Vol. 66, No. 7, pp. 643-644.
I. Komarovskaya, et al, “The impact of killing and injuring others on mental health symptoms among police officers,” Journal of Psychiatric Research, Vol. 45, Issue 10, pp. 1332–1336.
S. Maguen, et. al, “Killing in combat, mental health symptoms, and suicidal ideation in Iraq war veterans,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Vol. 25, Issue 4, pp. 563–567.
S. Maguen, et. al, “The impact of killing on mental health symptoms in Gulf War veterans,” Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 21-26.
C. Mejia, “Healing Moral Injury,” Fellowship of Reconciliation, Winter.
M. Steenkamp, et al, “A Brief Exposure-Based Intervention for Service Members With PTSD,” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 98–107.
C. Wainryb, “‘And So They Ordered Me to Kill a Person’: Conceptualizing the Impacts of Child Soldiering on the Development of Moral Agency,” Human Development, Vol. 54, No. 5, pp. 273–300.
Brett T. Litz, et al. “Moral Injury and Moral Repair in War Veterans: A Preliminary Model and Intervention Strategy.” Clinical Psychology Review, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 243-250.
Mulhall, Erin. Women Warriors: Supporting She Who has Bourne the Battle. Issue Report. Washington, DC: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. 2009. http://media.iava.org/IAVA_WomenWarriors_2009.pdf
Sexual Violence in the Military
“Grace After Fire, US Women Veteran Assistance.” Home Grace After Fire, US Women Veteran Assistance.
Herman, Judith. Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence- from Domestice Abuse to Political Terror. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1997.
Hunter, Mic. Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse in America’s Military. Fort Lee, N.J.: Barricade Books, 2007
Leslie, Kristen J. ““Ma’Am, Can I Talk To You?” Pastoral Care With Survivors Of Sexualized Violence At The United States Air Force Academy.” Journal of Pastoral Theology 15, no. 1 (2005): 78-92.
“Military Sexual Trauma.” Mental Health. July 9, 2015.
“Service Women’s Action Network.” Service Womens Action Network.
“The Invisible War – A Companion Guide.” The Invisible War. May 22, 2013.
“United States Department of Defense: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.” Research & Reports.
Wright, Jessica. “Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military Fiscal Year 2012.” April 15, 2013.
The film chronicles the experience of service members as they describe their time in basic training, deployment to Iraq and obstacles such as PTSD and physical injuries that make reintegrating back into civilian societies extremely difficult. Family members also recount their experience and struggles watching their loved ones struggle with physical and mental wounds. For example, Joyce and Kevin Lucey’s son Jeffrey, a lance corporal in the marine reserves who served in Iraq, died by suicide after a struggle with PTSD.
In the Valley of Elah. Directed by Paul Haggis. Performed by Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Jason Patric. United States: Warner Independent Pictures, 2007.
Retired police officer Hank Deerfield (Tommy Lee Jones) and his wife Joan (Susan Sarandon) learn that their son Mike (Jonathan Tucker), who had recently returned from Iraq has gone AWOL. The Deerfields, along with police detective Emily Sanders (Charlize Theron) try to discover the truth about what happened to Mike but military officials as well as Mike’s platoon mates are less than forthcoming.
The Invisible War. Directed by Kerby Dick. Cinedigm Docurama Films, 2012. DVD.
In interviews, veterans from the United States Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coastguard recount their experiences of being sexually assaulted as well as their struggles with indifferent and/hostile superiors and a military justice system that more often than not sides with the perpetrator and blames the victim. The film also portrays the mental and physical challenges veterans face as the result of their assaults and the difficulties in obtaining adequate treatment and healthcare through the VA (Veterans Affairs). The film chronicles the myriad ways in which the military system is failing to address or even acknowledge the high incidents of sexual assaults. Veterans as well their advocates assert that the military needs to take concrete steps to addressing MST (military sexual trauma), such as shifting prosecution for assaults away from commanders.
Lioness. Directed by Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers. Performed by Specialist Shannon Morgan, Specialist Rebecca Nava, Major Kate Guttorsmen, Captain Anastasia Breslow, Staff Sergeant Ranie Ruthig. Room 11 Productions, 2008.
In January 2013, the Pentagon lifted the ban on women serving in combat, however, because of the nature of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, where ‘frontlines” are virtually nonexistent, women were fighting in combat alongside their male counterparts long before the lift of the combat exclusion ban. This 2008 documentary portrays through interviews, journal excerpts, and archival footage the particular experiences of women in combat and the unique challenges women in combat face when returning home, especially when the official combat exclusion policy renders it difficult for female veterans/service members to prove they served in combat, which in turn negatively impacts their ability to get promotions and health care benefits.
Restrepo. Directed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger. National Geographic Entertainment, 2010. DVD.
The film chronicles the deployment of 2nd Platoon of Bravo Company to the Korangal Valley in Afghanistan, then a highly volatile area. The platoon was to clear the area of insurgents and gain the trust of the locals. The film depicts the construction of outpost Restrepo, (named after PFC Restrepo, who was killed early in the deployment), negotiations with locals, and firefights. The film also covers Operation Rock Avalanche, an offensive to clear the Korangal valley of Taliban insurgents, which resulted in heavy casualties.
Soldiers of Conscience. Directed by Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg. Performed by Joshua Casteel, Aidan Delgado, Camilo Mejia, Kevin Benderman,Thomas Washington, Todd Savage and Jaime Isom. Docurama, 2007.
Is there sometimes a moral imperative to go to war and to kill or is killing and war to be staunchly avoided at all costs? How does killing effect and shape military personnel? This film interviews conscientious objectors-those who through their service discover that they are unable and unwilling to kill others and have serious and profound questions about the nature of war, and those who view war and killing as occasional necessities. Yet even for those who are adamant that war is occasionally necessary the effects of killing and seeing others killed still has a profound effect on the individual.
Stop-loss. Directed by Kimberly Peirce. Performed by Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish, and Channing Tatum. United States: Paramount Pictures, 2008.
This fictional film, follows U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Brandon King (Ryan Philip) and his best friend, Sgt. Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum) during their deployment to Iraq and their attempts to return to life before war. However, Brandon and Steve, as well as others who served alongside them, struggle with reintegration into civilian life. Brandon is eventually ordered to return to Iraq under the controversial stop-loss policy, which retains service members on active duty beyond their expected end date. Brandon then grapples with whether or not to deploy.
Taxi to the Dark Side. Directed by Alex Gibney. United States: Think Film, 2007.
This 2008 Academy Award winning film for Best Documentary Feature, examines the use of torture on prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. The title of the film refers to the death of an afghan taxi driver named Dilawar who was beaten to death at Bagram Air Base prison and also to statements made by then Vice-President Dick Cheney, who days after 9/11 stated, “We also have to work the dark side, if you will. We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world.”
For Ministers and Congregations
Rebuilding the Moral House of Peace by Rita Nakashima Brock
Moral Injury Meetings – A Program Toward Recovery from Moral Injury. The meetings are designed for veterans, families, and friends and intended especially for the large group of veterans who identify either as not religious or spiritual but not religious. The first pilot group began in March 2014 on the TCU campus.
Moral Injury Worship Guide – Suggestions for raising awareness of moral injury in worship services.
Ben’s Story Benjamin Peters, Iraq War Veteran
A Pastoral Prayer for Veterans Day, by Michael Yandell, Brite Student and Iraq War Veteran
Faith-Based Organizations and Veteran Reintegration, by Laura Werber, Kathryn Pitkin Derose, Mollie Rudnick, Margaret C. Harrell, Diana Naranjo
Youth Curriculum Who Am I-moral injury reflection, by David Brower, Kevin Howe, Corey Meyer, Alison Nicoll, and Derek Tompkins
Moral Injury Worship Guide-Raising Awareness, by Sarah Almanza, Will Brown, Douglass Anne Cartwright, Maria D. Garza, and Jacob Walsh
Preaching to (and Caring for) Veterans: Memorial Day and Beyond, an essay at WorkingPreacher.org by Coleman Baker
A Veterans Day sermon by Rita Brock, presented at Brite Divinity School chapel on Nov 11, 2014
A Memorial Day sermon by Rev. Tamara Torres
Stand by Me: Memorial Day & the Healing of Souls
On “Moral Injury”
Dr. Greg Carey discusses moral injury in light of Peter’s denial in John 21:1-19
Rev. Dr. Coleman Baker highlights moral injury in “The Massacre of the Innocents and the Soul of the Warrior” (Matthew 2:13-23)
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson shows a unique connection between the story of Abraham & Isaac with the burdens we place on military families.
“A Hermeneutic of Belief” (John 20:19-31) by Adam Tietje from the United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist Association Military Chaplains Joint Training, Albuquerque, NM
Course Syllabi on Moral Injury