It was during my first interview with Ron that I began to see more than just a friendship with Adam, but a relationship that had become very healing for both. In the next clip, I would like to flash forward briefly to a recent conversation I filmed between Adam and Ron, where we get a rare glimpse into the reality facing many soldiers in duty.
While listening to Ron, it hit me that he was only 20 during the incident in Iraq that he so articulately describes to Adam in the clip below. For me, his first-hand account is a testimony to why some psychiatrist are using the term ‘moral injury’ instead of PTSD to describe the personal struggles of many returning soldiers.
Jonathan Shay, a Veterans Administration psychiatrist and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant has a lot to say about what veterans like Ron are going through.
In this article, Dr. Shay claims that what sometimes happens in war may more accurately be called a moral injury. There is a shrinking of the individuals’ moral horizon and the ability to care for others. He goes on to say recovery only occurs in community. Their peers are the key to their recovery as they share their story in a way and place where they will not be judged.
As you will see in our next blog, Adam and Ron’s friendship and their practice of meditation together become a beginning of healing for both.