Posted on Mar 20, 2014
CPT Brandon Christensen
9
9
0
<p>Should the DoD recognize Moral Injury as a disorder like it recognizes PTSD from over a decade of war?</p><p><br></p><p>According to the article, moral injury is the pain that results from damage to a person's moral foundation.</p><p><br></p><p>I think we as a country have spent countless hours and money fighting PTSD but have ignored other possible issues that service members are facing while performing numerous deployments to a combat zone.</p><p><br></p><p>Thoughts?</p><p><br></p><p>http://projects.huffingtonpost.com/moral-injury</p><div class="pta-link-card"><div class="pta-link-card-picture"><img src="http://e.huffpost.com/datadot/images/projects/moral-injury/1-grunts-helicopter-small-46778ee47b8dc5b9314612a6fa8a8610.jpg"></div><div class="pta-link-card-content"><div class="pta-link-card-title"><a href="http://projects.huffingtonpost.com/moral-injury" target="_blank">Moral Injury - The Huffington Post</a></div><div class="pta-link-card-description">Some troops leave the battlefield injured. Others return from war with mental wounds. Yet many of the 2 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from a condition the Defense Department refuses to ...</div></div><div style="clear: both;"></div><div class="pta-box-hide"><i class="icon-remove"></i></div></div>
Avatar_feed
Responses: 17
Capt Lance Gallardo
7
7
0
Edited 5 y ago
Absolutely, as a currently practicing VA and Military Criminal and Admin Defense Attorney (former Marine JAG), I have seen it in the Vets I represent and have counseled. There must be some kind of significant recognition regarding the FACT that combat veterans lost something serving in combat (their innocence, their faith in the goodness of people, in life itself, In God). Just because it is hard to define, or hard to quantify "Moral Injury" it does not mean we should not try and that psychologists and psychiatrists in the Military and the VA should not recognize, that there are Chris Kyle's out there who might not have the physical wounds to match their Spiritual or Psychical Wounds especially when they have killed and seen a lot of death on the battlefields, or lost close friends, over multiple combat deployments. The people that care about them the most, their spouses, children, family and friends know there is something wrong, something has changed. We should not have to wait, until drug or alcohol abuse occurs, or suicidal risk taking (driving motorcycles in a reckless manner often comes to mind-How many combat vets die after coming back home and getting killed in a motorcycle accident, or some other reckless behavior, bar fights, etc.). My mother's step-father came home from WWII as a severely PTS Navy Combat vet, who became a lifelong alcoholic, and an emotionally abusive father (I saw this first hand). He was never physically wounded repelling Kamikaze Attacks at the end of the War off Okinawa on the USS Guam, but the War changed him profoundly. He never sought or got help in his life for his PTS. One of my earliest memories as a toddler was going to the Norco/Corona California American Legion with my grandfather and being in the company Great but wounded men like Audie Murphy and other Heroes of the Greatest Generation. They never saw themselves that way, they just "Did their job" and were survivors of the Big War. But so many of them suffered in silence, or tamed their demons on their own, often by relying on Beer and hard Liquor to get them through the bad memories and the PTS. Their families knew but usually did not intrude. The idea of doing an "intervention" on a PTS WWII Combat Vet back in the 60s or 70s is laughable. It just did not happen back then , and most of these men, these wounded warrior, were functional but haunted by what they smelled, heard, seen, experienced and lived in WWII.
(7)
Comment
(0)
Capt Lance Gallardo
Capt Lance Gallardo
5 y
Maj Derrick J. I pretty much echo what Scott says above, but I would respectfully request that you get yourself "verified" as I was jumped on for not initially being verified (I emailed in my DD-214 and my Honorable Discharge "Wall" Certificate as a Captain, when I left AD), and within minutes my account was verified. See Post above in this thread by By PO2 William Allen Crowder 7 days ago to myself:
"Respectfully Sir, Please verify you account. I would give your response more credence then. As it is I call BS on the huffington post, and the article's author. I call BS on moral injury It is a scam for doctors and big pharma to get rich"
(0)
Reply
(0)
Capt Lance Gallardo
Capt Lance Gallardo
5 y
Whether or not MI is going to be recognized as a Disorder in some future version of the DSM will have to be seen . . . This discussion is as much about philosophy, and war history, religion and maybe many other things that I can't put a name to. . It is also touched and informed by all of our judgements on when it is absolutely necessary and right to send men and women into combat, for what reasons and for what evidence. I think that recognizing that MI or whatever the hell you want to call it, is a very real cost of war, over and above the tidy definitions of recognized and accepted Disorders like PTSD, is something that the Combat Survivors and their families and friends and colleagues will have to live with long after our war fighters have left the battlefield is important for the American People and our elected leaders have to consider before they send American Warriors to fight and kill and die "in a foreign land." I think it doesn't help that so few of us, personally know combat vets or people currently serving in "harm's way." Especially when Congress is so bereft of Combat vets. Vets in general (combat or otherwise) constituted a significant part of Congress from the 40, 50s, 60, and 70s. It seems it has only been in the 90s and 2000s that vets are such a small percentage in Congress and I am sure that does not help when making the horribly momentous decision to authorize (or not) the President to send our Young men and women into Combat, with a vote under the War Powers Resolution Act.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Capt Lance Gallardo
Capt Lance Gallardo
5 y
My neighbor across the street was a combat MP in the US Army during the TET offensive Jan/Feb 1968, and was fighting for his life and the lives of his fellow GIs in and around Saigon. We have had long talks about his combat experiences. He is now rated at 80% disabled mostly for PTSD by the VA (no I am not representing him, he is a friend not a client). That he suffers from MI is something we have openly talked about in addition to PTSD. He once told me that he was on a combat patrol when his patrol came across the mutilated body of a GI that the Viet Cong had tied to a tree, when his First Sgt, saw him staring at the body, he told my friend, "Hey Washington (not his real name) haven't you ever seen the body of a dead GI before?" He replied, Yeah Sarge, but I never saw a dead GI with his Penis cut off and stuffed in his mouth." This is the type of things that men see in wars like Iraq and Vietnam, or more recently, ISIS burning alive in cage, the captured POW Jordanian Pilot. Things that should not be seen by men and women. Or the GIs who liberated the concentration camps of Europe. I call the residue and impact of seeing these kinds of things to be Moral Injury, because I haven't heard a better name or explanation for what these experiences do to the Soul and Spirit. I have felt humbled and honored that my Vietnam Combat vet Neighbor and friend has shared with me, a stranger. I am not his shrink or his son, nor his pastor or lawyer, just a fellow vet who honors his service in Vietnam the only way I know how, by prayerfully listening without Judgement, and by letting him know that what he sacrificed in Vietnam for me and our country is deeply, deeply appreciated. God Bless all of you combat vets out there reading this. There are many (most I believe) Americans that honor your sacrifice, whatever our judgments might be about whether we should have got into Vietnam or Iraq. WWII vets are the first ones to laugh in your face if you called their war the Good War. Wasn't anything good about it who actually fought it. It was as hellish and nasty and brutish as anything that came after, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. Maybe if something was fundamentally different is that there was strong consensus at home that it had to be fought. Historians will tell you that by the beginning of '45 the American People were tired of the Western Union telegrams saying their loved ones were missing or dead. They were tired of the rationing, and the War Bond Drives. Morale was lagging. Then came the Photo of The Flag raising on Iwo Jima, by the Marines and the navy Corpsman, and the survivors of the flag raising came home and started the 7th War Bond Drive (and most succesful) raised 24 Billion in 1945 dollars as the US Public heard the stories of the sacrifices of almost 7,000 Marines and sailors who died in combat on that miserable island. It brought the war home and re-galvanized Americans to commit to the unconditional surrender of Grermany and Japan. Americans were forced to remember that the real sacrifices were being made in Europe and the Pacific, by our war fighters. The flag raisers and the raising of our National Flag above Mount Suribachi became symbolic of the tremendous sacrifices that American Servicemen and women had been making since Pearl Harbor.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Capt Lance Gallardo
Capt Lance Gallardo
5 y
http://www.quillnewspaper.com/2007/Jun/a1305a1.html The survivors of the flag raising our illustrative of the differences in how combat stress, and MI affects different people differently. Two of the three survivors had troubles coming to terms with their PTSD, survivors guilt (especially evident in Ira hayes), and MI. The son of Flag Raiser John Bradley wrote an excellent book, "Flag of our Fathers" later made into a movie by the same Clint Eastwood who has now given us, what is perhaps the most commercially successful movie about war ands its effect on the survivors: "American Sniper." That movie also very dramatically shows the effect of combat on Chris Kyle and his family.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
SFC Platoon Sergeant
4
4
0
Great article. &nbsp;I think PTSD is something we are going to have to deal with for many years to come. &nbsp;I'm not saying we all have PTSD, but after going to combat I cannot say that I have known anyone who came back the same as they were before. &nbsp;I just hope that the VA continues to take PTSD seriously as long as there is still a need for it, which I think will be for the long haul.
(4)
Comment
(0)
CPL(P) Cyber Threat Intelligence Consultant
CPL(P) (Join to see)
>1 y
The article makes claims that PTSD is caused by fear based trauma and attempts to coin a new ailment called as "Moral Injury" where the psychological trauma is caused due to the mission and the inner conflict with the servicemembers deeply held moral values.

Some of the psycho-social impairment created by the inner conflict, the article duscusses, overlaps with PTSD symptoms.


(1)
Reply
(0)
Capt Lance Gallardo
Capt Lance Gallardo
5 y
SFC Kevin Tierney, thanks for weighing in as a combat vet. Just because we don't have a good definition for how the experience of war changes men and women who experience death and destruction up close and personal, I don' think we should blow it off as some kind of dumbshit, new age, touchy feel BS that the shrinks and Chaplains made up to justify their salaries and their retirement benefits. I also know from working with combat vets in and outside of my family, that everyone's combat experiences are completely different based on what they saw and did. My Uncle, (my Dad's Brother) an Army Infantryman who fought hand to hand combat in the Korean War (was both bayoneted and shot in the stomach with a Russian 9 MM Burp Gun) killing Chinese and North Koreans, with his hands, his shovel (E-tool), M-1 Rifle, up close and personal, came back from the Korean War a total Fng Wreck of a man. He was a life long Alcoholic, and so PTSDed that the damn train would rumble by at night, and he would jump out of bed with a loaded 1911 45ACP saying the "North Koreans are coming I can hear their bugles."
he scared the bejesus out of his mother (whom he was living with at the time). This was in the mid-fifties after he mustered out, and the Army took way from him the gold fillings he had pried out of the mouths of the dead Koreans and Chinese he had killed. Now did that man suffer moral injury in addition to PTSD-I would definitely say so.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
MSG Brad Sand
3
3
0
LT Christenson,

There is no such thing as a moral injury. IF you have the morals, they are not something another can damage. You can regret your choices and fall into actual PTSD because you failed to follow your morals and the article is just another symptom of the rot effecting our culture.
(3)
Comment
(0)
SGT Behavioral Health Specialist
SGT (Join to see)
5 y
PO2 William Allen Crowder when you explained everyone looking out for one another aboard your tin can, that is something that should happen everywhere. I think if people understood Behavioral Health more they can be there as support and where is better support than the servicemember to your left or your right. There are only so many BH related individuals out there so the front line is still the best place for treatment. Obviously there is a limit there but alot of the issues individuals have can be solved before ever leaving their unit.
(0)
Reply
(0)
MAJ Derrick J.
MAJ Derrick J.
5 y
Specialist - I have read everything, so how about you give some credence to my training and credentials. It is much more likely that your understanding "in your own way" is faulty, rather than me being wrong or off base somehow.

Maybe you didn't mean to be "snotty," but that's how you came across. If I did in my previous comment, I do apologize. I was just being blunt, is all.
(0)
Reply
(0)
PO3 Purchasing Manager
PO3 (Join to see)
5 y
MAJ Derrick J. I think that you would get more credence for your training and credentials if your account was verified sir. We've all seen accounts here that turn out to be bogus.
(1)
Reply
(0)
MSG Brad Sand
MSG Brad Sand
5 y
Cpl Ricky Wright

Sexual assault is a criminal act. The criminal should be punished for their crime and I don't care what their reasoning was. Do not take this wrong, but I give a rat's ass about your preferences, their was no reason for a person to be assaulted. I don't see how this in any way is connected to what they are trying to label as moral injuries...unless you are talking about the person who attacked you and I don't care what they think.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close
Seg?add=7750261&t=2