12 August 2008

The Butter-Cutter On Battle Stressed Remote-Control Warriors

“Well, looky here,” The Butter-Cutter said as I approached the Chow Line, “when you didn't show-up last Tuesday, I figured the guy on the left side o' the Chow Line ran ya off fer good.”

“No, I was working on a web site for your 'verbal shrapnel,' ” I told him.

“Is that what you call it, 'verbal shrapnel?' Well, I hope you made me look good. I don't want any cheap shots from people who recognize me on the street. Now, why are ya here today?”

“Last week, I read an article that Air Force crews operating the Predator UAV, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, out of bases in California, Nevada, and Texas are suffering from 'battle stress.' I wondered what you thought of that” *

“If they're flyin' in the States, how are they gettin' 'battle stress?' ” 

“Let me explain. These UAVs are being remotely controlled from the States as they attack targets some 7,000 miles away in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“Wait a freakin' minute. Yer tellin' me that these Air Farces are sittin' in the U. S. of 'A' playing 'arcade war' and they're suffering from PTSD?”

“The article didn't use the term, PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It said that some of the crewmembers 'are suffering some of the same psychological stresses as their comrades on the battlefield.' And, don't call it 'arcade war.' This is the real thing with real weapons being launched by these UAVs and real people dying as a result.“

“No screamin' shit! They're lookin' at a video screen 'n' seein' the REAL THING! Tell me! How many o' those remote wing-wiper Mother F***ers have stopped a bullet er a hunk o' IED while they sat in their air-conditioned arcade war-room? Huh? How many?” The Butter-Cutter demanded while glaring back at me.

“I presume, none. That doesn't change the fact that the Air Force units involved saw it necessary to call in chaplains, psychologists, and psychiatrists to work with their stressed remote-control warriors.”

“What? These rear-echelon pukes need 'sky doctors' 'n' shrinks because flyin' model airplanes is stressin' 'em out? Man, I did that shit as a kid 'n' there's a whole bunch of adults who do that as a hobby fer RELAXATION!” he said with a wide-eyed expression of surprise.

“I don't think you understand the problem. These crews control and monitor the flight of the Predator by video. A colonel said, in comparing this duty with actually being in the seat of an attacking aircraft, 'when you come in at 500-600 miles per hour, drop a 500-pound bomb and then fly away, you don't see what happens.' But when a Predator fires a missile, 'you watch it all the way to impact, and I mean it's very vivid, it's right there and personal. So it does stay in people's minds for a long time.' It is that experience which has prompted some involved to seek help.” 

“HOLY HOPPIN' SNOT! Those poor puppies, they NOW have ta watch that mean ole missile blow up the target in 'vivid' detail! Welcome ta the business o' killin' people! What the f*** did they think Marines on the ground were shootin', 'Paint Balls?' Them Marines are shootin' real bullets at people; their Marine buddies are gettin' shot with real bullets by them people; 'n' they not only see this shit vivid-like, they smell it, touch it, 'n' taste it in temperatures that go over a 100 degrees! There's a big difference between bein' in the arena's bleachers 'n' bein' on the arena's floor!” the Butter-Cutter protested. 

'You just don't get it. These remote-control warriors go through these traumatic experiences then have to go home, take their kids to soccer, deal with family issues, and all the while, they are unable to discuss with their loved-ones the days activity because it's all classified. The in-country Marines, on the other hand, can blow off steam with their buddies after the action and relieve the pressure,” I tried to explain. 

“You've been retired too long. These remote-control warriors are nothin' more than a bunch o' 'Jack-Off Warriors.' They're not sufferin' from 'battle stress'; they're sufferin' from a lack o' real pussy-a lack o' real war. Ya don't get battle stress by remote control. Real Warriors get it by bein' IN BATTLE-that's kill-er-be-killed BATTLE! The STRESS comes from doin' their job 'n' knowin' that they can get killed in the process. These 'Jack-Off Warriors' can't get killed in front of a video screen playin' 'arcade war!' This is just more 'woe-is-me' U.S. HOT-Air Farce Bull-Shit ta make people think they're really involved in the Global War on Terrorism. Hey, even the SECDEF said that they ain't doin' shit in this War. They want battle stress? Make 'em Real Warriors--shave their heads; stick a rifle in their hands; 'n', send 'em off ta Afghanistan!”   

Semper Real Warriors,

Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC (Ret.)