Veterans Explore ‘Moral Injury’

Attack the System

by Shepherd Bliss

Our Veterans Writing Group met the morning after Pearl Harbor Day for our regular winter gathering, as we have convened seasonally for twenty years. Two dozen of us came from throughout Northern California to a spacious redwood home in the Sebastopol countryside.

“Nobody wins a war. There are victors, but you lose the youth of your country,” a 94-year-old Pearl survivor reportedly said on the news. “We haven’t won any wars,” added Pearl survivor Herb Louden, 95-years-old, of Sonoma County. As I listened throughout the day to our stories and writings of veterans and others directly injured by war–ranging from World War II to Desert Storm–we felt like living proof of these statements.

But we have been busy recovering from what has recently been described as “moral injury,” which I consider a better description than the clinical term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Vets are simply…

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