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It’s a movie that is continuously projected in my head. I can’t turn it off. Never could.
—Bill Williams, World War II Veteran, Age 92 (personal communication, 2014)

As much as serving in the military can become part of one’s identity, experiences from combat duty can leave lasting impressions and potentially damage one physically, emotionally, and psychologically. When working with active duty military personnel, veterans, and their families, it is important to recognize that experiences in combat can become central and that many of these individuals are unable to separate themselves from their combat experiences.

For this Assignment, go to the Walden library and locate two additional peer reviewed journal articles about combat trauma.

The Assignment (3-4 pages):

  • Describe combat trauma and its impact on identity.
  • Explain how you, as a social worker, would ensure that you separate the war from the warrior.
  • Describe how you would demonstrate these strategies to military personnel.
  • Explain why it is important to separate trauma experiences from the individual who experienced them.
  • Support your strategies with two scholarly articles. Provide full APA-formatted citations for your references

Running head: COMBAT 2


Combat and Duty


Institutional Affiliation

In my capacity, to someone who does not know about combat, I would explain to them that combat involves acts of fierce battles, or deadly fights resulting from conflicts involving two or more military groups. Such occurrences are oftentimes associated with massive loss of lives and damage to properties. In simple terms, it consists of a fight between two or more military groups during the times of war. It involves the use of heavy military defense machinery and equipment.

Considering the media, there might be a vast of stressors associated with duty in combat. The exposure to combat by the military troops is associated with highly intensive stressors, which may, in the end, lead to posttraumatic disorders in most of the soldiers. Among such stressors include the risk of being shot by the enemy troop, the exposure to wounded and dead comrades and enemy combatants (Rubin at al., 2012).

Risk of being shot dead: This is a significant stressor that most military troops are exposed to whenever they are in combat duty. All the time, they should be on the watch out to ensure that the enemy troop does not launch a successful attack on their troop (Pryce et al. 2011). While on duty, military soldiers are always ready for a do or die situation in all their lives. Therefore, while on duty, they are mostly faced with the significant threat of being attacked by the enemy troop. Their exposure to the risk of being shot dead at any time is a stressor because, at every second of their time, they are worried about the situation that can happen next. For example, in the world war ii veteran, the American troops had to protect each other while looking out. “……when the fighting began, we’d protect each other. But it was hell to watch our brother fall.” (Dick, 2014)

Exposure to wounded and Dead Comrades: In military combat, death can be inevitable in most times. What causes stress and many psychological disturbances among the soldiers are when they are found in an s situation where their colleagues- and most cases their most intimate friends- succumb to severe injuries and, at times, death. This exposure to wounded comrade soldiers necessitates those who survived to tend to them, by carrying them to safe places so that they can have medical attention. However, they have to do this while they are on the watch out for attacks from enemy troops (Wood et al., 2012). For those soldiers who happen to lose their lives, the surviving ones have to find appropriate places to place their bodies and carry on with the operation. This is the most psychologically disturbing situation in combat for any soldier. It is a stressor because when the soldiers look at their colleagues who are injured or dead, they try to figure out that the same can happen to them at any time.

Combat could significantly produce beneficial impacts on military personnel. In most cases, combat is a place that makes the soldier apply the training that they have been through practically. In times of war, military troops can learn new practical defense skills that they can use while fighting, and when they return to their respective places, they may have these learned skills incorporated into their training. Additionally, while fighting with enemies, most soldiers can emulate the superior fighting tactics from their counter troops. This is particularly important when dealing with upfront enemies, and it enables them to find the enemy’s weakness to utilize it.


Dick, G. L. (2014). Social work practice with Veterans. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Pryce, J. G., Pryce, C. D. H., & Shackelford, K. K. (2011). The costs of courage: Combat stress, warriors, and family survival. Oxford University Press.

Rubin, A., Weiss, E. L., & Coll, J. E. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of military social work. John Wiley & Sons.

Wood, M. D., Britt, T. W., Wright, K. M., Thomas, J. L., & Bliese, P. D. (2012). Benefit finding at war: A matter of time. Journal of Traumatic Stress25(3), 307-314.



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The military personnel and veterans from military service and missions are faced with a lot of difficulties of distress in returning to their civilian life. Such personnel may have undergone lots of trauma during their service for their countries and thus may have depression, anxiety, or even PTSD once they get back home. Additionally, apart from these mental and physical health worries, they may also face difficulties in adapting back into the roles they had before. This discussion paper points out types of trauma experienced by combat veterans and explain why some are more affected by traumatic experiences than others. However, some of the personnel have been exposed to adverse inhuman situations in war scenes which have led them to think of themselves as fundamentally different to civilians while others in the overseas, who are required to risk their lives for the country, maybe faced with bitterness resentment. Such experience affects their mental health and focuses on normal civilian life.

Two types of trauma that combat veterans may experience 

First of all, I figured it was defeat and disappointment. A popular myth among veterans is that they will emerge from active duty leaps and bounds ahead of their civilian peers. One of the many advantages veterans have is the ability to be anything needed to accomplish the task. However, many vets do not know how to determine the expertise of the hiring manager (Nassiri, 2019).

The second thing I thought was the health effects like Agent Orange. The repercussions of wartime actions in Vietnam are still felt, more than four decades later, as the deceased of those brave men and women are fighting health issues related to a frightening ghost of the past of their ancestors: Agent Orange (Ruibin, Weiss, & Coll, 2013).

The most widely used herbicide was Agent Orange, which contained the deadly chemical dioxin. It was later proven to cause serious health problems, including cancer, congenital disabilities, rashes, and severe psychological and neurological issues, with the Vietnamese people as well as with returning U.S. soldiers and their families (Ruibin, Weiss, & Coll, 2013).

Additionally, veterans suffer PTSD after combat whereby their traumatic experiences are not continuous since they serve through rotations. In other words, soldiers find a chance to get out of the combat zone once another unit replaces theirs.

Explain why some combat veterans are more affected by trauma than others.

Veterans who are more affected by trauma than others look into their childhood physical abuse experiences such as bullying or pre-Vietnam psychiatric disorder other than PTSD were a significant contributor to the onset of PTSD. Age also seemed to play an important role: men or women under 25 were seven times more likely than older men or women to develop PTSD when they entered the war. Soldiers who caused damage to civilians or prisoners of war were much more likely to develop PTSD (Dick, 2014).


Dick, G. (2014). Social work practice with Veterans. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Nassiri, J. M. (2019). 5 Things No One Tells You About Getting Out Of The Military. Retrieved November 28, 2019, from https://taskandpurpose.com/5-things-veterans-dont-know-getting-civilian-job.

Ruibin, A., Weiss, E.L., & Coll, J.E. (2013). Handbook of military social work. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.