Healing ‘moral injury’

Posted Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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I was glad to see that ministers and teachers are “dealing with the moral injury of war,” as described in an Oct. 12 story in the Faith & Spirit section.

I was a student at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1966 when I was accepted at the Air Force officer-training school in Texas, where I graduated and later served in Vietnam.

I had been disappointed to find that many of the seminary students were enrolled to escape the draft. (Teachers and ministers were exempt from military service.)

Also, many mainstream churches were actively counseling men to become conscientious objectors and helping some to move to Canada to avoid the war.

Few communities, academic or religious, were supportive of those of us who came home from Vietnam.

I certainly hope that the desire to heal “moral injury” may be beneficial to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. But after more than 40 years, it seems much too little and much too late for my generation.

Perhaps they should not have taught us: “Thou shalt not kill.”

— Bruce W. Rider, Grapevine

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