Faith leaders training to help with moral injury among veterans
Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, the daughter of a troubled veteran of World War II and Vietnam, has devoted years to tending the spiritual wounds of warriors, seeking theological answers to the condition among veterans called “moral injury.”
The kind of counterinsurgency wars America has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan has left soldiers uniquely vulnerable to moral injury, she believes.
“There’s no good choice,” she said. “If you’re looking at a kid on the side of the road with something in his hand, if it’s a grenade and he throws it and kills someone in your unit, you’ve failed your comrade. But if it’s a rock, you’ve just shot a kid with a rock.”
At Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, she has begun the first program in the nation to develop a treatment that she terms “soul repair.”
Now, with a $650,000 two-year grant from the Lilly Endowment and the formal support of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Soul Repair Center she runs with colleagues is beginning to teach congregational leaders how to address moral injury in veterans.
Read more about Rev. Brock and moral injury in The New York Times.
Read an essay about moral injury and the new center by Rev. Brock and co-director Herman Keizer Jr., a former Army chaplain, published in the Star-Telegram.
Read an earlier post on American Homecomings about moral injury: