It was W.B. Yeats who once wrote,
"It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield."
While I have never served on the battlefield, I have taken a peek at those dark corners and, on the basis of that experience, I might believe that Yeats’ words are true. But I also suspect that the battlefield and the darkness of the human soul are less counterpoints and more connected than Yeats' writing might suggest.
For I am inclined to believe that to kill another human being, even for a good reason, does damage to the human soul. And, to kill for a bad reason is evidence that the damage is already done. For our soldiers who have been made to fight, the corners of their souls may be very dark in deed.
As we see the rhetoric of war heating up here and around the world, it is my prayer that we will keep these thoughts in mind.
“Maybe the ultimate wound is the one that makes you miss the war you got it in.”
- from War, by Sebastian Junger