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April 2018, vol 14 no 1

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John Budan,


I am ordered to retrieve a wrench that was dropped down a deep metal shaft. I strip off my clothes and a line is secured around my ankles. Slowly I am lowered into the slick narrow pipe. As my breathing becomes more difficult, I start to cry. The line tugs but I’m not moving. I'm stuck; I feel I will never see daylight again. The foul taste of an oily substance saturates my body causing me to vomit. Finally inch-by-inch, I am pulled to the surface. I have not stopped crying since. The Navy says I’m trying to get out on a fake PTSD scam.

mindful of now
the stars
so long ago