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#6: War, PTSD & Reintegration

A psychologist, chaplain and Veteran of Iraq will speak about the impact of combat trauma, as well as the process of recovery and reintegration after war. Dr. Lusk will address the prevalence of mental health problems related to combat trauma, the treatment of PTSD, and the emerging conceptualization and treatment of moral injury.  Chaplain Morris will address “soul wounds,” including ethical and moral issues inherent in the development of PTSD and moral injury, as well as spiritual practices that heal these wounds, with the ultimate outcome of “the wound becoming medicine to the world.” She will speak about the journey of retraining “compassion neural pathways,” and reembodying, and prioritizing a compassionate life. A Veteran will address how his experience and expanded perspective, to include contemplating the experiences of the so called “enemy” at first led to avoidance, distrust of self and others, loss of identity, and helplessness. His journey of recovery, dubbed a journey “from disgrace to dignity,” has included a recognition of society-level problems, discovery of compassion, re-visioning of mission, and increased compassion-inspired actions in support of fellow Veterans, family and community members. A call to arms will involve speaker and audience ideas about how to address Veteran recovery on an individual and community level.