Healing the Moral Wounds of War



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Moral Injury

I get ready to move to what is very likely my final assignment in the Army. I will become the Command Chaplain for the Southern Region Medical Command. From Jun 08 to Jul 11 I served as the Command Chaplain for the Medical Command in the Army. I've also been to war three times and during my Jan 04 to Feb 05 deployment to Iraq saw more of the rawness of war than I cared to. Moral Injury is the right and proper way to define it. I've gotten help and I continue to be a "work in progress". I continue to recover and view my journey as growth. I am excited about working with a smaller number of clinically trained chaplains and hope to collaborate with them to shape some meaningful, evidenced based care that will assist recovery, particularly for our wounded, ill and injured in our warrior transition units. I look forward to working with medical staffs and support staffs to provide the best science and art we can.

CH (COL) John Read more than 2 years ago


Cynthia, the journey continues. Ten years ago you joined the United Methodist Endorsing Agency in Nashville, Tenn. as we took the needs of chaplains returning from deployment seriously. Your work and others has changed lives. The ministry continues and I am deeply grateful that the UMCom has a landing page www.umc.org/military where resources are continuously being sought, added, and developed to inform and engage people and congregations to support our service members now, those who have served, and to prepare for those who will serve. Thank you for your continuous support.

laura flippen more than 2 years ago

 Notable Quotes

"It is impossible to eradicate or quarantine religion. Any attempt to do so would result in far more bloodshed than religious people have perpetrated throughout their long histories."


Miroslav Volf, professor of theology at Yale University, writing in The Washington Post on the implications of ISIS attacks in Paris.

"The World Methodist Council condemns the  terrorist-motivated multiple bombings, shootings, and hostage-taking attacks in Paris ... World Methodist Council General Secretary Bishop Ivan Abrahams extends the condolences of the WMC to the next of kin of those killed and to the French nation. He also calls on all people of goodwill to remember those afflicted by this tragedy in their thoughts and prayers, including investigators and officials in the ongoing investigation. May God help us work toward and realise a day when violence no longer exists."

– World Methodist Council Statement

"Together with all people of good will, of whatever religious belief, we are horrified by the depth of violence despising human lives and finding pleasure in the death of others.

"We are people who believe in Christ. Our life shall witness that Christ is the 'Prince of Peace'. He has blessed those who make peace. This shall model our answer to the terrible attacks in Paris.

– Bishop Patrick Streiff, of the UMC of Central Southern and Sourthern Europe.

Cynthia B. Astle

Cynthia B. Astle is a veteran journalist who has specialized in covering The United Methodist Church for the past 27 years. She serves as coordinator for United Methodist Insight.


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