I've finished reading Eric Greiten's Resilience, and for the umpteenth time I am frantically recommending it. It's a mussar sefer, really; there are tons of Jewish references.
Of the multitude of quotes that would send me out of my room blaring, "You gotta hear this!," one was this concept (that I cannot find the exact quote for).
So, apparently, the reason why there are veterans who spiral downward when they return home is not necessarily from the trauma. It's from the lack of purpose.
You wake up and you know your mission. You know your team. You know what you gotta do today, how you will serve.
Then you go home. No more mission. No more team. Now what?
Roger Cohen's "Why ISIS Trumps Freedom" explains the allure of ISIS on westernized individuals who should know better. What makes us even more confused is that they voluntarily leave independence and plenty for restriction and privation. What gives?
Perhaps that something is at root a yearning to be released from the burden of freedom.
Western societies have been going ever further in freeing their citizens’ choices — in releasing them from ties of tradition or religion, in allowing people to marry whom they want and divorce as often as they want, have sex with whom they want, die when they want and generally do what they want. There are few, if any, moral boundaries left.
In this context, radical Islam offers salvation, or at least purpose, in the form of a life whose moral parameters are strictly set, whose daily habits are prescribed, whose satisfaction of everyday needs is assured and whose rejection of freedom is unequivocal. By taking away freedom, the Islamic State lifts a psychological weight on its young followers adrift on the margins of European society.
Purpose is dependent on discipline. Without discipline, we are adrift, rudderless, and while there may be some slackers who are happy enough with that life, for many it leads them into insanity. Sort of like how our sterilized lifestyles jacks up our unchallenged immune systems to attack our bodies out of boredom.
From what I've seen, not all FFBs can see the purpose. We rely too much on birthrights; we often forget that we each still have to seek and discover our "own truth."