Veterans end up homeless for a variety of reasons, but one of those reasons is certainly moral injury. According to the National Center for PTSD, moral injury has been defined as “perpetrating, failing to prevent, bearing witness to, or learning about acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.” Various acts of commission or omission may set the stage for the development of moral injury. Betrayal on either a personal or an organizational level can also act as a precipitant. On a conceptual level, moral injury is different from long-established post-deployment mental health problems.
It’s a term I hadn’t even heard of until Valiant Seed was asked to partner with The Sapphire Theatre Company in its entry for the 2016 Indianapolis Spirit and Place Festival in November. The theme this year is HOME and the program Valiant Seed will be helping with is called “Rebuilding a Home: Moral Injury and Soul Repair.”
While I had never heard the term moral injury, I sure lived with it. My former husband was deployed to Desert Storm and had struggled with what he was asked to do there for years. Talking to a priest and a counselor, and time, are what sort of healed him of those wounds. Moral wounds are just as large and as painful as physical ones and we, as a community, need to understand how to help our veterans cope.
You can read my blog post for Spirit & Place here.
I hope you will join us in November for both this event and our 2nd Annual Tiny Homes – Big Future event on November 12th. Money raised at that event will help take care of all of the needs of our homeless veterans.
Tags: moral injury, PTSD
This post was written by teresamankin