Gessler: PTSD and moral injury are the hidden wounds of veterans

Guest Author

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board. Guest columns are the view of a campus community member who periodically contributes columns. This column comes from a member of Veterans for Peace.

If I were to offer advice to veterans starting university, it would be this, not necessarily in the order to follow:

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Militarism is a proven failed ideology. Every war since World War I has been an illegal war. Your duty to our nation’s military is over.

Your duty to your nation is entering a new chapter. Seize this opportunity to learn, grow and cultivate the human being you are to its fullest potential.

Your duty to your nation is entering a new chapter. Seize this opportunity to learn, grow and cultivate the human being you are to its fullest potential.

You are entering a civilian world that is a multi-ethnic cultural environment. This civilian world has been wounded in its soul like many veterans who have preceded you home. This civilian society is fractured, and it is divided ideologically because of these recent wars.  Our families are divided. Even veterans are divided.

You have the right to question how our nation got to this divided point.

You have a responsibility to let go what you’ve been conditioned to think and begin to think and question things like a free-thinking American. You have a responsibility to be a positive role model for other students.

Has the military advised you to see a chaplain? I encourage you to seek out your mentors and friends in this culturally rich environment available to you.

Utilize the Veterans Administration Medical Centers. The VA has, like you, been stigmatized and asked to do the impossible at times. It is there for you. Use it.

Be a healer of wounds in yourself and others. Be a unifier where there is division. Rise above prejudice and be for pluralism, tolerance and an advocate for social justice.

Paul Gessler

Dan Lyons Chapter 178

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Veterans For Peace

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