Fighting the Last War: On Courage and Wisdom

This paper comes out of discussions of issues addressed in meetings with combat veterans in the Stress Disorder Treatment Unit at North Chicago VAMC, now named The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.

The Short Version:

The main psychological challenge while in combat is to, minute by minute, find courage to overcome fear and pain. The main challenge of civilian life is to find wisdom to define and meet long term goals. Knowing this is a big step toward overcoming the problems which come with mistaking civilian challenges for combat challenges. 

The Long Version:

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