By Martha Bebinger
June 24, 2013
An estimated 22 veterans kill themselves in the U.S. each day. And suicide among men and women on active duty hit a record high last year — 349. As veterans and researchers try to figure out why, there’s growing interest in a condition known as “moral injury,” or wounds to a veteran’s spirit or soul from events that “transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.”
The concept has helped former Marine Corps Capt. Tyler Boudreau understand years of pain that medication and therapy for PTSD didn’t address. He tells his story, somewhat reluctantly, from the living room of his blue clapboard home in Northampton, Mass.
‘This Is What Occupation Looks Like’
Boudreau arrived in Iraq in the March of 2004 at the age of 33 shortly before four American contractors were killed in Fallujah. His unit moved into position for a planned assault on the city.
“We were always getting shelled, constant rocket and mortar attacks,” Boudreau explained. “An IED, the roadside bomb, blew up right next to my vehicle and I was involved in some firefight that was pretty, you know, pretty intense.”
The constant shelling wore on Boudreau. But the daily duties of war, what he did to Iraqis, also took a toll on him.
The entire story is here.