Moral injury is a subject that is widely misunderstood and a key symptom of participating in war and conflict.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs describes an event considered to be morally injurious as one that can “transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations” and which “shatters moral and ethical expectations that are rooted in religious or spiritual beliefs, or culture-based, organizational, and group-based rules about fairness, the value of life, and so forth.”
The VA explains that in the context of war, “moral injuries may stem from direct participation in acts of combat, such as killing or harming others, or indirect acts, such as witnessing death or dying, failing to prevent immoral acts of others, or giving or receiving orders that are perceived as gross moral violations.” Such an act may have been carried out by an individual or a group, through a decision made individually or as a response to orders given by leaders.
The aftermath of moral injury can range from such emotional traumas as shame, guilt, anxiety and anger, to alienation, purposelessness, social instability, withdrawal and self-condemnation, as well as alcohol and drug abuse. In extreme cases, it can lead to suicide.
In the first edition of Lima Charlie’s VETERANS [Ep.01 – Moral Injury], host Don Johnston welcomes Dr. Hazel Atuel, Associate Professor of Research for the University of Southern California (USC) Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR). Among the many things CIR does, is it works to strengthen the support network of veterans and military families. CIR is a part of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. [Read more].
Lima Charlie News is the proud official Media Sponsor for the USC CIR “State of the American Veteran Conference 2017“, this year in Los Angeles, California, Sept. 28-29.
Listen in to Lima Charlie VETERANS, Ep. 01 (24 min.)
[Originally recorded September 19, 2017][Edited by: James Fox]
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