I am saddened to see our leadership is still resistant to the idea that combat stress can only come from personal combat and that the elitist attitude of aviators shown in the letters on the flight suits was not just an isolated case.
To take offense to the stress of crewmen at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada is the height of hubris (“The War Room,” Oct. 27). It is the same attitude that gives the thought that “fobbits” aren’t worthwhile soldiers just because their jobs do not go outside the wire. “Whine to your psychiatrist,” indeed (“ ‘War Room’ a slap in the face,” letter, Oct. 29).
Are we still of the mind-set that “traumatic stress” only comes from immediate danger? Watching a bomb go off on your screen is not the same as watching it through your windshield, it is true. But the guilt of being a survivor, of not being able to save that life, is just as real, no matter where you were. And I would dare the writers berating the 432nd operators to try watching comrades die before their eyes, and go home that same night being unable to speak of it with their spouse. Day after day. Without rest. Not months later, when you come home after being away so long.
Your derision and insulting of other personnel’s integrity and job is unprofessional. Every occupation serves to make this military the best military in the world. To think that aviators, in general or specific, are of more import than ground troops, or other aviators, is to claim that the heart is better than the lungs. Without either, you will not survive.
Do not blind yourself to the troubles of a fellow servicemember just because he does not experience things the same as you do.
Spc. Steven SchopmeyerForward Operating Base Marez, Iraq