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Drone Medal

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While at the VA Clinic the other day, I was reading the Airman magazine and I saw an article stating that the Drone pilots (?) are suffering from a high percentage of PTSD. Did any of you guys see that??

I have to agree with US Herk about the mental aspect of their job! I also am glad that they aren't going to receive combat medals!

Just my $.02 worth,

Ken

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This is all very confusing. The joy stick jocks sit at a console, in an air conditioned building, probably 8 hour days, coffee break, two, maybe three times a day, at least a half hour lunch break. End of thier day they hot foot it out of the air conditioned building into thier air conditioned vehicle, traverse the very dangerous highway to thier air conditioned home, greet thier spouse and kids, eat a good hot meal (maybe pizza), watch a little TV, sleep in thier Sleep Number bed and awake to the smell of fresh coffee. Now, I'm suppose to empathize with said joy stick jock, 'cause he has spent the past several days following around a terrorist (these guys are the same people that strap bombs on kids have the kids blow themselvs up in a crowded street) via a computer monitor (the terrorist is about 4,000 miles away), and the jock goes into mental anguish when his boss tells him to squeeze the button, cause he, the jock, actually saw the terrorist get blown into little bitty pieces. My oh my.

I've always been very thankful that I didn't spend my days in Vietnam slogging through jungle or rice paddy, but I was actually there, in country, and did on ocassion call the sheet metal guy out to the plane to patch a hole or two. But apparently that isn't dangerous enough to warrent anything more grand that a Vietnam Service medal, which ranks somewhere below the Good Conduct Medal. Most of us here on this forum can tell a war story or two, but we were simply doing our job and few if any went fishing for accolades. Ridicule the joy stick guy's? No, this is not ridicule.

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Like it or not, gentlemen, the war has changed. Few, if any, USAF guys associated with airplanes are truly "in country" like Viet Nam. Sorry our war isn't quite as ugly as yours was.

I've been retired over a year now, but I feel like that old Harley saying: If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

It's not better or worse, just different.

Tell me again how you walked to school in the snow, uphill, both ways and were thankful. ;)

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Yes US Herk, war has changed. But still, that doesn't change the way that joy stick jocks are fighting their war involvement. Pretty soon they'll be looking for Purple Hearts because they have blisters on their thumbs, demanding flight duty pay (unless they already receive it), demanding that their chairs be changed out for heated cushiony leather ejection seats so they can eject if their drone crashes then dig out their radios and call for a combat rescue mission. Pretend they're Bat 21 and navigate an actual golf course to the extraction zone. I wonder if drone operators go DNIF or DNIC?

Comparing real pilots to drone pilots is like comparing NFL players to Madden 2013 players.

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Like it or not, gentlemen, the war has changed. Few, if any, USAF guys associated with airplanes are truly "in country" like Viet Nam. Sorry our war isn't quite as ugly as yours was.

I've been retired over a year now, but I feel like that old Harley saying: If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

It's not better or worse, just different.

Tell me again how you walked to school in the snow, uphill, both ways and were thankful. ;)

That's what I was going to say next!!! Also, I was barefooted with my feet wrapped in potato sacks!!

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It seems there may be starkly different opinions based on age, experiance or generaational differences. My age and experience make me think the drone medal (especially ranked higher than a combat medal) is an insult to those engaged in getting shot at.

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US Herk I didnt see anybody heaping ridicule on drone piolts however I noticed you did on finance officers in our War as you put it being dirtyer than yours. In ours all crews, ground and air worked together to get the mission done, none being more important than the other. C-130 crews in our war hit the ground at one time or the other in country during the war.One last question what did you do in the herk world? I noticed its missing from you profile. Im not trying come down on you I just doint agree with you

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Not trying to stir the pot anymore than it's already been stirred . . . but I kind of see both sides of the story here. War has changed, period. I'd rather see a drone-driver rain fire from the sky than put the 'pounders in harms way, but a "combat" medal? Don't see that. IF their shack/trailer/whatever was under actual attack, and they still completed their mission, different story. And as for PTSD, my gut feel is that they're at much less risk than the folks on the ground. They may see the carnage of their actions, but they don't see the carnage of their comrades. They should not have the emotional attachment to their target that Joe Grunt has with his boys on the ground, and if they do, maybe they should be taken off the stick.

At the risk of being mistaken (and I often am), aren't the majority of drone missions being flown by agencies other than the USAF? And at the risk of being mistaken further, weren't the original drone folks enlisted? Wasn't it the pilot "drawdown" that forced rated folks into the Nintendo chair? And if it was still an enlisted game, would a "drone" medal even be considered? (okay, that last comment was kind of snarky, but I stand by it.)

Just my 2 pfenning

kim

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I'll bet the drone pilots "office" doesn't smell like a plane did after hauling kia's who had been in the field for several days.

yeah, bet they don't have a fire truck come out to wash out their cubicle, or wonder if that beady eyed little son of a bitch setting in the middle of nearly 250 of his countrymen in a 40 foot cargo compartment is havin' hemmorhoid problems or is he tryin' to get to a concealed weapon , or 20 or 30 years from now start developin' diseases and chronic injuries from exposures , or wonder if that storm that is tryin' to tear their airplane apart will be successful, or if their landing gear will come down, etc etc etc..........

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