This fact sheet explores veteran experiences of guilt and shame following peacekeeping missions.
During a deployment, service personnel can be confronted with various dilemmas, including moral dilemmas. They may also witness the suffering of the civilian population concerned. It is not always possible to eliminate that suffering or prevent yet more people (civilians, but also fellow service personnel) from being affected by the horrors of war. Service personnel are well trained in performing their duties in the most complex circumstances and under threat of violence. Nevertheless, they may later, after having returned home, have doubts about the action they took, the decisions they made or the interventions they had to make. The experiences they had whilst on deployment can then lead to feelings of guilt or shame.
Veteraneninstituut, 2014. Feelings of guilt and shame after peacekeeping missions. Fact Sheet.