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“Turn Now, My Vindication Is at Stake”: Military Moral Injury and Communities of Faith

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to describe and analyze how communities of faith can overcome key barriers and fulfill their responsibility to respond to the moral injury of military veterans and military families. Moral injury is a concept within the broader discourse concerning traumatic experiences and responses that pertains particularly to experiences that overwhelm a person’s internalized moral covenant within their social relational world. Communities of faith offer unique resources for many veterans and military families in the process of transitioning into civilian life. However, limited understanding of military experiences and culture and discomfort with moral anguish, including intense forms of guilt, shame, disgust, and contempt as well as traumatic experiences more broadly, too often diminish the efficacy of such ministries with veterans and military families.

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Notes

  1. Our history, The Mission Continues, https://www.missioncontinues.org/about/history/. Accessed 5 November 2017.

  2. What we do, The Mission Continues, https://www.missioncontinues.org/about/. Accessed 5 November 2017.

  3. Changing the conversation through service, The Mission Continues, https://www.missioncontinues.org/buzz/. Accessed 5 November 2017.

  4. Care with veterans and their families, Council on Christian Unity, http://councilonchristianunity.org/document/1011/. Accessed 5 November 2017.

  5. Soul Care Initiative: Journeying together as we care for veterans and their families, JustPeace, http://justpeaceumc.org/soul-care-initiative-journeying-together-as-we-care-for-our-veterans-and-their-families/. Accessed 5 November 2017.

  6. S. Holland, G. Forsyth-Vail, & M. L. Cummings, Military ministry toolkit for congregations, Unitarian Universalist Association, 2014, http://growinguu.blogs.uua.org/organizational-maturity/military-ministry-serving-wholeness-in-congregations-and-beyond/. Accessed 5 November 2017.

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Moon, Z. “Turn Now, My Vindication Is at Stake”: Military Moral Injury and Communities of Faith. Pastoral Psychol 68, 93–105 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-017-0795-8

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