Posts Tagged: Boston

Tom’s story: A crisis of compassion in the chaos of war

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"Tom" served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army -- and by the time he returned home, he realized the experience had changed him, dramatically. He works with his fellow veterans now, and has asked that we not identify him for this story. (Photo by M. Scott Brauer for the Public Insight Network)

During his second deployment to Iraq with the U.S. Army, ‘Tom’ found himself losing his sense of compassion amid the chaos of war. As hard as he tried, he had trouble holding on to his moral compass. And then: Reality hit, in the form of a local Iraqi resident’s dog.

‘Moral injury’ gaining traction, but still controversial

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One betrays his or her sense of what’s right, under orders, in a high-stakes situation. By the mid-1990s, psychologist Jonathan Shay called the condition that results “moral injury.” The idea is gaining traction among researchers, veterans and the military — but not everyone is embracing the idea.

Tyler Boudreau: One Marine’s struggle to define moral injury

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Photo courtesy of Tyler Bondreau

There’s growing interest in a condition known as moral injury — or, wounds to a veteran’s spirit or soul from events that “transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.” The concept has helped one Marine better understand what years of PTSD treatment never fully addressed.