The damage done to one’s conscience or moral compass
when that person perpetuates, witnesses, or fails to prevent acts
that transgress their own moral and ethical values and conducts of code.
In 2004, 20-year-old Tom Voss was deployed to Mozul, Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was a part of a scout sniper platoon which meant that many days it was Tom’s job to run towards gunfire as he gathered intel for military operations. He never expected to return home alive and early on in his deployment he surrendered his resistance to death. Tom endured relentless exposure to violence and sustained deep moral injury as a result of his wartime experience.
When Tom returned home he was at a loss. He had no idea how to slide back into society after his experience at war. Like many war veterans, Tom turned to alcohol and drugs to support his return to normal life. He was diagnosed and treated for PTSD with pharmaceutical drugs that quieted his symptoms but not his deep moral wounds. For nearly a decade, Tom went through the motions of life while frequently abusing drugs and alcohol to a blackout state. He had very little will to live and high motivation to end his suffering. He knew he had to make a drastic move to save his own life. He knew he needed to begin processing the deep pain and grief that could not be medicated away.
Tom decided to walk to California from Wisconsin in the last ditch effort to save his own life and raise awareness of the injuries of war. The Emmy winning documentary Almost Sunrise chronicles Tom’s story and trek alongside fellow veteran Anthony Andersen. This gripping film gifts the audience with a truthful look into war and it’s long-lasting effects while documenting the healing process of two men who risked everything for their country.
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Episode 151 Show Notes:
Podcast 150: Ask the YTs on 50/50 training, Trusting Intuition
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