Getting to the Root of Moral Injury: Killing

What if we all have a pacifist gene and just refuse to recognize it? That’s the question that Jane Yoder raises in this recent article published by the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Human beings are social creatures. Our ancestors had to cooperate in order to hunt large and powerful prey. Humans can function solo, of course, but we are hard wired… Read more »

Veterans Day Meditation on War and Peace

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War and Peace A Sermon in Conjunction with Veterans Day Preached at Hanover St. Presbyterian Church By the Rev. Thomas C. Davis, III, Ph.D. On November 12, 2000   Texts: 2 Chronicles 15: 1-15 Ephesians 2: 11-22 Mt. 5: 38-48 In conjunction with our nation’s celebration of Veterans’ Day, Hanover Street Presbyterian Church invites you this morning to remember and… Read more »

Understanding Post Traumatic Stress and Moral Injury

About two years ago I founded the Interfaith Veterans’ Workgroup, to see what could be done to keep veterans from killing themselves. They were doing that at more than twenty a day. After two years of research I understand better the role of post traumatic stress and moral injury in veterans’ depression, and I’m coming to see that there are… Read more »

A Quilt of Valor Awarded to Jeff Lippincott

Congratulations to Interfaith Veterans’ Workgroup member, Jeff Lippincott, for his award of a Quilt of Valor on August first. Jeff, a Navy corpsman who was assigned to a Marine unit in Vietnam, was the one to call if you were down in a firefight and needed medical assistance, pronto. Risking his own life, Jeff gave life-saving aid many times, and… Read more »

Remember Those in Prison

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The following is a sermon I preached on the eve of Memorial Day, May 28th, 2017 entitled “Remember Those in Prison.”  It highlights some similar challenges faced by veterans returning from war and citizens returning from prison.  Communities of faith can help ease the transition for both groups. Texts: Psalm 34: 4-8 I sought the Lord, and he answered me,… Read more »

Happy Are the Peacemakers

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Happy are the peacemakers.  That’s what I’ve discovered in my own life, and it’s the subject of the following sermon which I preached at a church that has shared its chapel with the Interfaith Veterans’ Workgroup.  Thanks, Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Wilmington, Delaware, for caring for returning veterans, and for your vision in interfaith peacemaking. Happy are the… Read more »

Get Out and Get Moving

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Get out and get moving.  When I used to counsel persons with depression, that’s what I encouraged them to do.  Depression doesn’t always produce sadness, but very often it produces fatigue and lethargy.  To counteract it one has to get moving. Nothing strenuous.  Just walking twice around a city block will do for starters. Then, as you begin to gain energy, increase… Read more »

Treating Veterans With PTSD and Moral Injury

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I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about various methods for treating veterans with PTSD and moral injury.  What works, and why? PTSD is frequently referred to as a mental condition, but in truth it it’s a condition of the body and mind.  One can understand many PTSD symptoms as blocked energy stored in the body.  The researcher who has… Read more »

Veteran Hikers

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Up hills and down dales we walked and talked, veteran hikers. My friend, Jack Sanders, has been inviting friends to join him in the beautiful fields and woods north of Wilmington, not only to get exercise but also to ease the mind. This was my first outing with him. Like me, Jack has passed the age of 70, and after… Read more »

Understanding and Treating Moral Injury

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This post includes an annotated list of resources for understanding and treating moral injury. Many citizens realize that the suicide rate among U.S. veterans is very high. About 20 veterans take their own lives each day. The suicide rate is also high for veterans of other nations, including the U.K., Canada, and Australia.  Many media articles link Post Traumatic Stress… Read more »