Conversations We Should Be Having About War

Conversations We Should Be Having About War February 2, 2015
This is an excerpt of an article that just went up at Onfaith.

Conversations We Should Be Having About War

American Sniper highlights the disproportionate burden of war carried by combat veterans.

by Tim Suttle

The release of American Sniper prompted plenty of debate, and a flurry of opinionated speech concerning the past decade of war, proving once again how hard it is to discuss something we know so little about. Here are a few points of conversation regarding war that Americans would do well to have.

Who bears the burden of war?

How have the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq affected your life over the past 13 years? Seriously, how big of a price have you personally paid? Unless you have served overseas or you have a family member or close friend who served, then your answer is probably very little.

We should probably talk about this, America.

Instead, what we’re talking about is what silly thing Michael Moore or Sarah Palin Tweeted about American Sniper. It’s too bad, because this movie could be just the thing to jumpstart a long overdue conversation about war.

For the past 13 years, the burden of two wars has been born disproportionately by combat veterans and their families. The financial cost of war is shared evenly throughout society, but that’s where the sharing ends. When it comes to the physical wounds, the relational strain, the psychological impact, and the emotional price tag of war, soldiers and their families have done all the heavy lifting.

Some 52,000 soldiers have been physically wounded. As stunning as that number seems, five to ten times that many (between 275,000 and 500,000) now suffer from PTSD. However, a new diagnosis may hold the key to allowing the emotional burden of war to be more equally shared among the general public. It’s called Moral Injury, and although the mental health community and the Pentagon have not officially endorsed this diagnosis, more and more soldiers are using the term to describe the impact of war upon their lives.

Moral Injury and today’s soldier
Moral Injury refers to… (you can read the rest of the article here.)

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