What do you do when faced with an action that violates your moral code?

Check your moral compass?
Consult your religious tradition?
A soldier doesn’t get to decide.


Dick Hattan, a veteran of the Vietnam War takes a look at his soul forty years after the war ended. Now attempting to make sense of his life, he discovers the moral injury he sustained, the wounding of his soul when he acted against his own moral code. Learn of his journey from his Catholic upbringing on the southwest side of Chicago to his tour of duty as a soldier in Vietnam. Discover the attempts he has made to find peace and healing for his fragmented soul in his new book, Invisible Scars of War — A Veteran’s Struggle with Moral Injury.

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Dick Hattan, US Army
Dick Hattan - Invisible Scars of War

Dick Hattan is a native of Chicago. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam during 1971 with the 101st Airborne Division. He earned a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University in 1974 and began a 44 year career as a health care executive. In 2012, he earned a Master of Divinity degree at Chicago Theological Seminary and was ordained a priest in the Independent Catholic Church in September of 2015. His ministry work includes a weekly Eucharist at a rehab center in North Aurora, a writer’s group for veterans and a house church. He also preaches monthly at Hearthstone Communities where he works as a fund raising executive.

Dick Hattan


“This book is an important contribution to understanding the Vietnam War and moral injury.”
Major General James H. Mukoyama, Jr., U.S. Army Retired
“It is a treasure trove of information about daily life in the garrison areas in Vietnam that are totally ignored in the literature.”
Major General James H. Mukoyama, Jr., U.S. Army
“Anyone who reads your memoir will be impacted by it and find a facet of their own lives or that of a friend or family member in your experiences.”
Jeanine Hill-Soldner, Artist
“In a moving and thoughtful debut, Hattan, a priest in the Independent Catholic Church, analyzes the cultural cost of the Vietnam War while reflecting on the spiritual damage one suffers in war. Hattan, a native of Chicago, examines his powerful emotional crisis of faith and morality when he served with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam in 1971 at age 24. Describing himself as “a young white Catholic boy,” he had long been drawn to the church and, during the war, felt torn between following the “nonviolent Jesus I read about in the Gospels” and acting on his love of country. Hattan ponders what he believes to be the church’s inconsistent teachings—“If all life is sacred, why did the Church go to the mat on abortion, but not on war?”—and charges the church with having failed to support those returning home from tours of duty. With no welcome home parade or acceptance, Hattan describes how veterans suffered moral and literal injuries, and suggests that a National Day of Forgiveness could serve as a kind of spiritual healing. With candor and insight, Hattan offers options to those who seek inner peace from war’s personal demons.”


is a writer's workshop for veterans and family members where participants are encouraged to tell their story. The group has met monthly for the past 7 years welcoming veterans from World War II to the current war in Afghanistan. Military experiences are addressed along with everyday life scenarios in a non-threatening, safe environment. Previous writing experience is not necessary.

Interested in joining us?

We meet at the TLS Veterans office in McHenry, Illinois on the 4th Thursday of each month. We’d love to see you there. Contact Dick for more information.
Contact Dick


Looking for a speaker for your club or meeting on a contemporary topic? I can provide insight into moral injury, a condition that afflicts veterans often many years after active duty.

I'd love to speak to your group!

Contact me to book your event.
Contact Dick


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