In 2007, the now-Retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Marshall Powell served as a medic in Iraq. After his deployment, he returned home with an injury that wasn't visible to the eye. He had suffered what is now termed "moral injury": the internal suffering that results from an action that goes against one's moral code.
As he details in his story in the May 2017 issue of Guideposts, Sergeant Marshall was faced with a decision no one should face while dealing with the aftermath of a bombing in Mosul, Iraq. That decision has haunted him ever since, but with the assistance of some fellow veterans in group therapy, he came to realize that he wasn't alone, and he has slowly but surely found peace and healing.
A childhood photo of Powell rests alongside the Bronze Star he earned in Iraq at his home in Crescent, Oklahoma.
Powell, who has come to rely on the support of fellow veterans and family members in his path to healing, straightens a photo of his mother on a wall at his brother's house.
Powell wrote a letter to the parents of an Iraqi girl who died under his care after an attack. Powell was unable to send the letter because he didn't know the girl's identity, but composing it proved to be therapeutic.
Powell pauses while discussing the traumatic experiences of his 2007 tour as a military nurse in northern Iraq during one of the bloodiest years of the Iraq war.
Powell stands with a U.S. Army medevac helicopter during his last tour in Iraq.
Powell holds his two-year-old grandson, Ezekiel Marshall.
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