In the above link and discussion, suicide among combat veterans equals or exceeds deaths as a result of combat. These are the soldiers who’s “souls leave the body” when exposed to the inhuman acts and brutality of war. I again recommend, Dr. Edward Tick’s book, “War and the Soul,” which helps to understand why. Humans know the difference between right and wrong. War causes our moral compass to be compromised, making it extremely difficult to live with the killing of others, especially seeing women and children die in battle as collateral damage. There is clearly a moral injury that requires healing, but it is invisible and difficult to treat. Consequently, war lives on in the minds of combat veterans and eventually affects the families and loved ones who serve too. My view is the legacy of war has far more long term consequences in society than the single event of war or the deployment(s) of combat veterans in battle. I write in my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, how our family was destroyed over a 70 year period following my father’s extended combat duty during WWII. We had no idea what was happening in our family as children. We were a bunch of angry people living in a very toxic home environment. My father did not commit suicide, but he was in extreme pain emotionally for much of his life following the end of WWII and subsequently additional combat duty during the Korean War. The only avenue in my view and potential long term solution is awareness. At a minimum, anger toward the conditions of a toxic home and life after war can be removed with better understanding and knowledge of the symptoms related to TBI and PTSD. For me, there is no more anger, only sadness.
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story