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U.S. Soldiers with 4th Brigade Combat Team 82nd Airborne Division travel from Camp Zafar to Camp Stone Afghanistan Aug. 24 2009. Via Flickr.

VIEWPOINTS: How should faith communities respond to veterans suffering from moral injury?

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U.S. Soldiers with 4th Brigade Combat Team 82nd Airborne Division travel from Camp Zafar to Camp Stone Afghanistan Aug. 24 2009. Via Flickr.
U.S. Soldiers with 4th Brigade Combat Team 82nd Airborne Division travel from Camp Zafar to Camp Stone Afghanistan Aug. 24 2009. Via Flickr.

In January, the Department of Veterans Affairs released the newest numbers on veterans suicides, revealing the rate of young male veterans ages 18-29 killing themselves increased 44 percent between 2009 and 2011. The rate increased 11 percent during the same time period for female veterans.

But the Army’s suicide rates dropped 19 percent last year.

As more of America’s conflicts end overseas and more soldiers come home, religious schools and seminaries are talking about the term ‘moral injury’ and ‘soul repair.’

Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, founded its Soul Repair Center in 2012 to help train church leaders how to help veterans who’ve had to make a moral decision – to kill or not to kill – under extreme circumstances such as warfare, and suffered a deep psychic wound or moral injury.

How should faith communities respond to veterans suffering from moral injury?

 

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