On the morning of September 11, 2001, Patrick Ashtre was a happily married man with a lovely wife, three children, and a house in Arlington, Virginia. He was a good father and husband and, looking into the mirror each morning, he was happy with the reflected image-but all that was about to change. There are events that change people forever-a friend's premonition about the future that comes true, shaking the very fibers of our beliefs about the world around us, or a traumatic episode that casts us into a sea of despair where we question mankind's true nature. These events can cause us to question our very existence. Our ability to recover from these experiences becomes even more convoluted when we stamp man-made lines of right and wrong onto the path leading back to constancy. The lucidity of those events and the rationalization as to why they occurred are normally a hazy quagmire of guesses and suppositions. But on occasion, seemingly at the darkest hour, one can come to an epiphany that allows crystal-clear clarity. A Distant Island is the story about that moment when Patrick Ashtre began to understand his struggle with posttraumatic stress, the experiences from which it spawned, and the aspects of living a life under its influence. More than a tale about posttraumatic stress, it is the provocative story of a love affair with a former bargirl and how the rich and colorful Buddhist culture of Thailand helped Ashtre overcome a past filled with violence and death. It is a story that illustrates how sometimes the answers to our problems can come in unusual and unexpected packages. A Distant Island is an account of how Patrick Ashtre found his way home.