This is a short story I wrote quite some time ago. It is an unfinished piece, (an unedited rough draft) more like the shell of a story without any of the meat. I abandoned it because I was going to go way over the word count for the magazine I was planning on submitting it to.

After finding this in my “failure” bin, I reread it and realized there was still a story there wort showing. Even though it isn’t fleshed out, the story still makes you feel. And more importantly, it highlights a real problem many veterans are dealing with all over the world.

A Time Away is about a soldier who has come back from war and is suffering from PTSD and depression. Most of the story actually focuses on the moment during war that caused his emotional problems. I feel like war gets far too glorified through entertainment and we forget these are real people, with real stories, going through real trauma.

I think it’s very important to call attention to the quiet suffering many of these men and women go through. Most of them never get to really tell their story—or want to. So I’m hoping this piece is able to shed some light on these struggling veterans.

DPW editor,

Caleb James

A Time Away


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