War and the Soul, by Edward Tick, PH.D., continues to get my attention. As we think about the many combat veterans preparing to return home during the coming weeks, the following quote from the book is most appropriate.
“Our society must accept the responsibility for its war making. To the returning veteran, our leaders and people must say, “You did this in our name and because you were subject to our orders. We lift the burden of your actions from you and take it onto our shoulders. We are responsible for you, for what you did, and for the consequences.”
As my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, describes 7 decades of family struggle with the legacy of war and PTSD, we have not done enough as a nation to accept responsibility. We have to do this in our own communities across the nation as did the communities of warriors of early times. We have to help them heal and transition back to society to live a normal, healthy, and successful life. We can’t just go about our business as usual following the brief celebrations when our heroes return home. Otherwise, the consequences to the veteran and to the families who love them become a legacy of war that lives on for generations.
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story