Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. (MISNS, pronounced “missions”), Women Veterans Social Justice Network, and Leashes of Valor, three organizations who have been working for years to better the lives of military women, will co-host the Women Veterans Military Moral Injury Conference: Research, Recovery, Resources, and a Call for Compassionate Community Responsiveness in 2020. One event will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, March 26-27, and the other in Richmond, Virginia, May 14-15. The conferences will bring together women veterans, researchers, mental health professionals, and chaplains to learn about new assessments, treatments, and resources for military-related injuries, including moral injury, and address regional lay leaders in how to assist them in transitioning well into their civilian communities.

Moral injury is a term that refers to the inner conflict military service members feel when their sense of moral rightness is violated during their time in the service. Initial findings of a current study underway on moral injury for women veterans conducted by Dr. Daniel Roberts of Roberts Research and Consulting and Joann Kovacich, Ph.D. of the University of Phoenix suggest military sexual trauma is one common cause of moral injury, as well as witnessing atrocities, killing in combat, and being forced to do things that are against one’s moral values.

Both military chaplains and civilian clergy have a special role to play in the well-being of service personnel. Military chaplains are often the first person a soldier talks to when he or she experiences difficult circumstances. Once service members leave the military, civilian clergy and Veterans Administration (VA) chaplains can provide care, but civilian clergy often do not know how to “speak the veteran’s language.” Veterans are often hesitant to reach out to people they do not know.

The conferences aim to address these problems by putting military chaplains, civilian clergy, and women veterans in the same room. Veterans will get a chance to tell their stories. Researchers who specialize in moral injury, soul care, PTSD, and mental health will share their latest findings, and clergy and mind/body/soul practitioners will describe healing modalities. The conference leaders hope to create an environment for positive relationships and future collaboration. Registration for attendees is open at: Registration Form.  

To make the conference affordable for veterans who are on limited budgets, registration is very inexpensive. If people register at least 10 days before an event, their investment is only $50 and includes two meals, the program book and a great event of professional speakers, roundtables, and working groups. Within 10 days of an event (after March 15th for Charleston or May 5th for Richmond), their portion is $75. Even at that rate, it will be well worth it. The conferences are open to people of all genders. Non-profit organizations, government agencies, and faith communities pay half price for exhibitor space and ads. Sponsors, exhibitors, and donations are needed to defray the cost of the event and provide travel scholarships for those veterans who are short on funds. There are many levels of sponsorship, from $10,000 to $500. Sponsorship benefits include exhibitor space, company logo in program books, advertising on web pages, luncheon tickets, and opportunities to present your organization at the conference.

We also accept donations. Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc., Women Veterans Social Justice Network, and Leashes of Valor are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that accept tax-free cash and in-kind donations. Consider donating cash for veteran travel scholarships or in memory of a woman veteran or chaplain. In-kind donations may include food, beverages, paper goods, hotel rooms for veterans or speakers, technology assistance for disabled veterans, program printing, welcome bags and other items.

Downloadable Documents:

To find out more, contact:
Dr. Dan Roberts, Conference Chair/Coordinator
Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc.  910-690-5964 
Dr. Christiane O’Hara
WVSJ Network or 

Conference Advisor:
Women Veteran Social Justice Network (non-profit)
EIN 45-5296843 and

WVSJ Network is the lead advising agency on this project and provides leadership on program and event development, cultural competency, and other important aspects. WVSJ Network is an outreach and community based non-profit working to bring together national and local resources available to women veterans in a single, easy to understand and navigable resource. The online social network organization started with peer support groups that utilized social media and education, to inform, support and advocates on behalf of women veterans. It  focuses on issues of Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Moral Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), homelessness, suicide awareness and prevention, and VA and community based services and benefits available to women veterans and their families.

WVSJ continues their primary mission of providing information, education, encouragement, and support to women veterans, regardless of the era in which they served, as well as support tools and resources to the veteran’s families and the community at large. It supports and partners with others in the academic, military, faith, and other communities in joint programs of benefit to women veterans.

Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. (MISNS, pronounced “missions”) specializes in education, research, and advocacy in military chaplaincy and soldier care. MISNS’ research focus is on pastoral support to female service members. Women are an underserved population when it comes to spiritual leadership and support. By conducting studies with female service members as the primary population, MISNS is able to develop theories and practices that will enhance the lives of women in the military.

As an educational and training organization, Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. helps men and women in the chaplaincy hone their skills as religious professionals and care providers. MISNS also works with seminaries, religious groups, and professional chaplain organizations to provide content for continuing education and professional growth. MISNS’ training inventory includes seminars, case studies, keynote speeches, class curriculum, and other products.

Leashes of Valor is a national non-profit working to provide every post 9/11 veteran who needs one with a highly-trained service dog to assist them in mitigating the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

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