MRE Guidelines for Practice
Spirituality, Moral Injury, and Trauma in Military Life
Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LCMHC, DMHCS, CRC, CMCC
There is a growing body of literature in military psychology, moral injury, and trauma which suggests a strong association between having good spiritual well-being and military resiliency and readiness (Doehring, 2019; Smith-MacDonald et al., 2017). Extraordinary stressful and traumatic events in military life have long-term implications for service members’ and veterans’ mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. There are many experiences in warfighting that service members and veterans will never disclose to others outside their units or as reflected in after-action reports. Exposure to frequent killing of enemy combatants, the threat of being attacked, killed, or captured, witnessing death and injury, and handling the injured and dead bodies of unit members, civilians, and enemy combatants change the military service member in a profound psychological way.