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Hidden Wounds of War

Stay tuned for the 2022 conference date announcement! 

Since the beginning of time — at least since Homer’s Iliad — veterans and their families have struggled with the silent epidemic of Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries sustained during combat and other difficult situations that arise in military service. The Hidden Wounds of War conference brings awareness and education to the community about treatments and resources.

2021 Hidden Wounds of War: Moral Injury

How can we better serve those who serve and have served us? This question challenges us to think about those who gave some, and those who gave all, to serve our communities and our nation. Veterans, first responders, families, and communities struggle with the aftereffects of this service. Too often suffered in silence, the psychological trauma experienced brings the hardship home. By embracing honest discussion and strong networks of support, winning the battle against these harrowing challenges is possible.

Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, senior vice president and director of the Shay Moral Injury Center at Volunteers of America, joined us for this year’s virtual conference. Dr. Brock shared from her experience working with moral injury and recovery.

The Hidden Wounds of War Conference is hosted by the Hauenstein Center in partnership with Grand Valley State University, The West Michigan Veterans Coalition, and the Kent County Veteran Services Office.


Rita Brock

Rita Nakashima Brock, Rel. M., M.A., and Ph.D., is Senior Vice President for Moral Injury Programs at Volunteers of America and a Commissioned Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). A native of Fukuoka, Japan, Brock was six years old when she and her mother were brought to the U.S. by her stepfather from Amory, Mississippi. She was raised in a military family and was the first Asian American woman to earn a doctorate in theology. Dr. Brock was Director of the Radcliffe Fellowship Program at Harvard University from 1997-2001, a fellow at the Harvard Divinity School Center for Values in Public Life, 2001-2002, and a Visiting Scholar at the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley from 2002-2012. Her 2008 book with Rebecca Parker, Saving Paradise, was a finalist for the American Academy of Religion Award for Reflective/Constructive Theological Studies, and it was selected as a best book in religion by Publisher’s Weekly. An internationally distinguished lecturer and award-winning author, she is a pioneer in the study of moral injury. In 2012, she co-founded the Soul Repair Center, Brite Divinity School at TCU, with Col. (Chaplain) Herman Keizer Jr., U.S. Army veteran, and directed it until May 2017.  Her most recent book is Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War, co-authored with Gabriella Lettini, the first book written on moral injury.



Keynote Sessions

Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock: Hidden Wounds of War: Moral Injury, Morning Keynote

Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock: Hidden Wounds of War: Moral Injury, Afternoon Keynote

Breakout Rooms

Military Culture, Families, and Relationships

Suicide Pervention AM Session

Suicide Pervention PM Session

Veterans Court