The Wounded: How War Changes People but Unites Them


A couple of days ago I wrote about an encounter that I had with another officer who I had an encounter with last week. I noted that the officer in question had said that he wanted to talk with me and my own prejudices and suspicions regarding his words.

That officer came to me today, and while I cannot entirely subscribe to his theological framing of his position; I have to say that our time together was a blessing and most likely a chance for healing for both of us. The man was not sone sort of ideological or religious extremist by any sense of the imagination. His version of orthodoxy was different than mine, but like me, was a man who idealized the faith that he had in his service and superiors, and had been betrayed by them.  In his case he was betrayed by men who most people could never imagine to be unworthy of that trust.  If I had I not known the men that had betrayed him, I would not have understood what he said to me last Friday.

His comments about not being at our school to learn what we were teaching, I understood when I listened to him and what he had experienced. His faith in God, as unlearned and simple as it was to me was instrumental in saving his life. Even if I disagree with his underlying theology, I cannot abandon a man who in his life, faith and service done all that he can to honor God, his fellow human beings and his country.

Our encounter last week was one where I assumed that he was a religious ideologue, which was not the case. Yes he is a man of faith who could be considered religious even a fundamentalist, but not  a man driven by religious or political ideology. Instead, like me, he is a man wounded during his service and trying to make sense of the betrayal by people that he assumed were his brothers, men that he idealized who in the end betrayed him.

Maybe that is the most difficult issue faced by those who have returned from war but struggle with where they fit in life, their profession and in their relationships.

Pray for all of us,


Padre Steve+







Filed under faith, iraq,afghanistan, Military, PTSD

2 responses to “The Wounded: How War Changes People but Unites Them

  1. Thank you for finishing the circle. Peace!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s