I find that this job, even though, i know would be very heart wrenching, would be probably the best choice for me.
I am very compassonate, and feel that honoring the fallen soldiers and their families could be one of the best jobs for my type of personality.
Thing is, i do know its very emotional, especially when u have to record all personal belongings and come accross that letter from a fallen soldiers child or wife wishing them to come home soon. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it...
question is... what advice could anyone give me for a career in this positon...
I also heard, that if a soldier finds this job too difficult, that he may choose another MOS, the only position in the army like this.. so tell me guys/girls, any advice???
'Save the cheerleader, save the world'
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
I'm freakin' crippled now.
My butt-knuckle is killing me.
I can't tell you from a Soldier's standpoint, but I can tell you this: if you do decide to choose this MOS, don't ever lose your compassion for the Soldiers that you come across or their families. I'm of the belief that you should have passion for your job--especially this one. It's mentally and emotionally difficult.
It's the kind of job that at the end of your day you need to be able to clear your mind and heart so that you can start with a clean, compassionate, open heart the next day.
You will be one of the last people to touch this person before you. You will be one of the last to treat him/her with honor and respect.
And every person who comes before has a right to 100% of your compassion, warmth, respect, and care/love. Treat every person that comes before you as you would one of your beloved family members.
And if you're a praying person--pray for this person's family that they leave behind. Pray for his/her children, parents, wife/husband, and siblings. That they may find peace eventually.
And above all: honor and respect this person before you. (I may be repeating myself, but it's something I believe in)
Good luck on your decision. It I was to go in, this would be a position that I myself would choose.
Highly Experienced Member
Ex-Moderator, Fired For Cause
I have a friend who served as a mortuary affairs officer in VN. He's never been quite the same.
Bear in mind that in addition to personal effects inventories (you will rarely be directly in touch with families), this MOS also prepares bodies for shipment. Many of those bodies, particularly now in wartime, are horribly disfigured. That has an serious effect on many people - usually not a good one.
Families deal with the liaison teams that help with funeral arrangements, survivor benefits and the like. Mortuary affairs personnel deal more with the body, physically and administratively.
Think carefully. This is not an easy MOS. If you are not sure you could stomach it, look at being a chaplain's assistant - you would get to use your compassion and empathy more directly.
Just some thoughts.
I respect anyone who even thinks they have the stomach for this job, and I don't mean physically, I mean emotionally.
Theres a brief story in a book called "Rule Number Two" Lesson I learned in a Combat Hospital by DR Heidi Squier Kraft, a former navy psychiatrist.
Theres a story in the book about a group therapy session of the mortuary affairs personel..it wasn't the MOS of a single one of the guys in the story.I reccomend reading it, you know more about the MOS then I did before reading that passage.Like, I wasnt aware that they were responsible for cataloging and packaging all of the soldiers belongings.Even with dealing with the dead fairly regularly with EMS ..personal belongings..that aspect alone would be too much for me to bear.
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