For Many Returning Vets, 'Moral Injury' Just As Difficult
For a veteran returning home from Afghanistan or Iraq, the mental trauma of having killed someone can be just as devastating as physical injury. The Department of Veteran Affairs has called this problem “moral injury,” but some veterans think this phrase minimizes the horror of killing. In 2013, Timothy Kudo, a former Marine captain, wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post about grappling with moral injury. In this text, he shares his experience with NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after students have read Chapter XVII. In this section, Mike briefly describes how abusive Lord Ashley became towards Brett after returning from the war. Ask students to use Captain Kudo’s experiences in order to analyze Ashley’s transformation. How might ‘moral injury’ have affected Ashley? How might Jake and Brett be also carrying the war with them? Why do they rarely discuss their memories of the war?