The concept of moral injuries for soldiers and non-soldiers alike, the gift of fear and being a dead man walking and how to handle regret and shame.

“As beasts are beneath human restraints, gods are above them... It would be foolish and untruthful to deny the appeal of exalted, godlike intoxication....We have seen the paradox that these godlike exalted moments often correspond to times when the men who have survived them say that they have acted like beasts....Above all, a sense of merely human virtue, a sense of being valued and of valuing anything seems to have fled their lives....However, all of our virtues come from not being gods. Generosity is meaningless to a god, who never suffers shortage or want. Courage is meaningless to a god, who is immortal and can never suffer permanent injury. The godlike berserk state can destroy the capacity for virtue. Whether the berserker is beneath humanity as an animal, above it as a god, or both, he is cut off from all human community when he is in this state.”

― Jonathan Shay, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character

Those millions of men who have been in combat over the millennia have always brought home invisible scar tissue and regret that manifests in many ways but most of us take it to our graves.

“…or the pilots doing nine-to-five jobs at computer consoles in Nevada killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan with drones and commuting to and from their homes like any other commuters. Imagine the psychic split that must ensue from bringing in death and destruction from the sky on a group of terrorists—young men who have mothers and a misplaced idealism that has led them into horrible criminal acts, but nevertheless young and brave men—and then driving home from the base to dinner with the spouse and kids. “Have a nice day at the office, hon?”

― Karl Marlantes, What It is Like to Go to War


Karl Marlantes What It Is Like to Go to War

Bill Russel Edmonds God is Not Here: A Soldier's Struggle with Torture, Trauma, and the Moral Injuries of War

Clark Savage King of All Things: A Guide to Man's Martial Purpose

Dick Couch A Tactical Ethic: Moral Conduct in the Insurgent Battlespace

Andrew Bacevich Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak Out Against America's Misguided Wars

Shauna SpringerWARRIOR: How to Support Those Who Protect Us

Jonathan ShayAchilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character

Jonathan ShayOdysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming

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