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Thread: Drone Warfare PTSD

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    So, I guess that my circumstances were different, because the transition is such a short one, just a 3-4 hour bus ride. But I joined the IDF, willingly going to a combat unit instead of trying to score a desk job like most of my friends. I knew that combat was an option, but we didn't expect a war like Lebanon 2006. Once it happened, however, we were all anxious to get in there and do our share.

    And then my friend in the tank next to me was killed, and some friends of mine from basic and advanced training were killed, and I killed some Hezbollah bastards.

    So sure, it took me a while to wrap my brain around the fact that I'd killed people, and I miss my mates, and the Company still visits the family, and we meet at the gravesite on Memorial Day and the day he was killed. And sure, I probably went through some mental changes following the war. I'd have to be a psychopath not to. But thankfully, I feel like I've avoided PTSD, it's been 7.5 years and I feel fine, getting married soon, run my own business, and just completed my degree.

    And like I said in my original response: I am not in any form, fashion or manner belittling the effects of PTSD, its severity, or how anyone is susceptible to PTSD.

    However, and this is a very big however, too many people are seeing and approaching combat as either a computer game, in the case of drone operators, or as some sort of video game, like Modern Warfare, Call of Duty or a whole bunch of other FPS games. They are not leaving themselves open to the possibility that they may be affected by PTSD, and are shocked when they are, blaming the military. It's plainly clear in the original post, that he's blaming the military for his PTSD, and for the fact that he's killed (an alleged) 1,600 people, a number that sounds fishy to more than one person. The fact that he's willing to lie about the number of people he killed, also brings the PTSD claim into suspicion.

    But we digress. After reading your entire post again, I realize that I have no idea what claim of mine you're taking issue with. I said that was is hell, and that anyone who participates in any manner should be aware that they are not playing video games, that this is real life. I never said his PTSD is any more or less potent or lethal than yours, or any different than yours. My main bone of contentment was people approaching the military as just another video game. I'm sure that in your service you've met people, both in the military and out, that think the military is just a live-action version of Call of Duty.
    I guess the point I was trying to make was that it isn't so easy to say if you don't like this or that about combat then don't join. Nobody knows what they really sign up for. I too was eager to put my training to use while awaiting the orders we all knew would arrive to invade Iraq. I figured I was better prepared than most 19 year olds because I had studied military history for years and had essentially prepared my whole life for it. My initial combat actions were fairly small and I would say typical. I was exhilarated because I had "passed" the test. What I didn't know was that I hadn't really passed much other than to shoot a rifle and run about doing what my NCOs told me to do. Then we got to Baghdad, and we were literally fighting for our lives for 3 days. The fear was palpable. The idea of being overrun for lack of ammo and fuel was terrifying. It didn't happen of course, but for about a 6 hour period we didn't know that. This was my first real introduction to sustained combat and it certainly got my attention.

    Then I ended up working in around Ramadi and Fallujah for almost 2 years in 03-04 and again in 04-05. I was wounded...I lost half my squad in a matter of 15 minutes from a very co-ordinated attack. I lost several friends over the course of that time either KIA or grievously wounded. Seemed every day something happened to us or near us. We found bodies along the river often or out near the Bedouin routes that disappeared into the vast desert that is western Iraq. Then we went into Fallujah...pretty heavy stuff. Hard to kill the bad guys because they were armored and doped up. They'd make fun of our screaming wounded as we fought room to room or from one building to the other....fear....lots of fear...and rage. I had no idea what that was at 18 when I joined. Even as aware as I was I had no clue. I imagine it is the same for most people.

    My best friend missed the first three years of Iraq and him and I used to go round and round because he was so eager to go. He felt it was his duty and that he was made to be a soldier...I used to point out to him that it's not what he thinks and that he really needed to think about what he was asking. I left for college in the beginning of 2007 and he left for his 1st tour to Iraq. He was in Baqubah with 10th mountain division. 15 months later I received a phone call from him...the first thing he said to me was "Brink, you remember what we used to talk about...well...you were right...it isn't what I thought" he "got" it.

    That was my point I guess. I agree that people need to understand that the military's job is ultimately to kill. But even many soldiers don't understand the weight of that until they have done it. I understand that many people do have unrealistic ideas about combat. Of course they do! That hasn't changed throughout history. Hell, people were throwing picnics to watch the opening battles of the civil war because they thought it would be glorious to see...they quickly realized it wasn't. The bottom line is that kids will continue to think they're invincible, the population will continue to be oblivious, and soldiers will continue to come home to a world they no longer understand anymore.

    As far as the guy in the video...I think he's lying. After watching it again....I really think he's lying. I don't know why, but my BS detectors are screaming.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Sorry I ain't buying it- 1600+ people doesn't pass the smell test, neither does his claim to have followed orders to deliberately target children.
    You give people the chance to kill others from far away and not having to even look them in the eye, they will do some pretty evil stuff.

    They do what is called "signature strikes": A computer analyzed movement patterns on the ground and decides based on how people move whether they should be killed or not.

    Its a sad time.

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