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Living with the Moral Burdens of War

U.S. troops returning from Iraq experience “moral wounding,” according to Georgetown University professor Nancy Sherman. Moral wounding, expressed sometimes as unprofessional or questionable behavior toward enemy combatants, is caused by the “roller coaster” of integrating fighting and nation-building, then having a sense of being pulled out too early for the effort to be successful. Also contributing are a range of emotional experiences such as feeling isolated back home, facing the breakup of families during deployment and suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. In a 4½-minute video news report conducted by Bob Abernethy and Kim Lawton for the PBS show Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Sherman introduces the issues, feelings and needs of returning war vets and offers some ideas on how to extend hospitality.



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