If bravery is the question, psychological trauma is often the answer. The suicide rate of soldiers working remotely is even higher than for those in ground combat. That means that the quoted “drive home that gives a soldier time to ‘decompress,’ ‘listen to music, take a deep breath, [and] compartmentalize as he transitions ‘to husband, father, [and] family man’” doesn’t work. The men and women who figure out where to send these aircraft and the ones who fly them can get PTSD just as easily as someone deployed overseas. Imagine spending the day making life and death decisions for people one has never seen and then going home and trying to fit in with “the real world” on a daily basis. It’s more obvious how difficult the transition from war to home is for troops coming home after a deployment. It’s a recipe for emotional disaster.
I had almost got to the end of writing a very long post about all sorts of things, including how there is no morality in refusing to face terrorism, and how I think the responsibility for the lives lost in the war against Al Qaeda rests with the people who planned and carried out 9/11, and then the screen refreshed and I lost the lot. Another time, maybe. But … There was an old former soldier buried in Ireland last week, he had been estranged from his family and friends and there was a call for members of the Irish Defense Forces to attend the funeral. It was reported in the newspaper the following day that a poem was read at the service, which began; “I did the job that nobody wanted to do”, and I think that applies to the people doing the job of piloting UAVs. I’m quite sure they’d rather be doing something else, but they have been asked to do a job by their country.
Richard Aubrey said:
I think the poem should be modified: I did the job other people needed done, wouldn’t do, but wanted somebody else to do.
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