Illustration Matt Battaglia

Ten years after leaving Iraq, the hardwired lessons of war still manage to sneak up on me. The lingering effects of PTSD became clear to me in 2015. I was on a northbound train from New Delhi to the India-Pakistan border, when a chocolate vendor hopped on board our crowded 54-bunk sleeper car. The man across from me declined politely. Then he leaned toward me. I should never buy from the vendors, he said, because sometimes they inject drugs into the food.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by James Clark

Anyone who’s ever taken the antimalarial drug Mefloquine will tell you about the dreams.

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Screenshot via YouTube

Editor’s Note: A version of this story was originally published on the website of Ben Feibleman. Some of the names in this story have been changed. 

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