David Wood wrote for the New York Daily News on the moral injuries American service members face:
All of us, of course, experience twinges of conscience in daily life as we fall short of our ideals. But the moral injuries of wartime come faster and harder, and particularly so in the confused conflicts that comprise the war on terrorism.
A soldier is felled by a shot; his grieving buddy is tormented for having failed to spot the sniper in time. A wounded lieutenant is medevaced and consumed with guilt for having “abandoned” her platoon.
A medic holds a dying soldier, a beloved comrade bathed in blood, whom he cannot save. A rifleman looks into the eyes of an insurgent as he shoots, and is haunted by that killing.
No wonder words fail when they return to a society dominated by those who chose not to serve. Who would understand their stories?