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I found it highly ironic that while sitting in western Afghanistan where we just lost 14 Americans in helicopter crashes, I find “The War Room” (article, Oct. 27), about drone pilots safely tucked away in Nevada complaining about combat fatigue.

I passed that article around and all of those who earned their Combat Infantryman Badge and Combat Action Badge and have deployed time measured in years, not months, said the same thing: “Want to switch?”

I respect that Stars and Stripes tries to shed light on all aspects of the military, but out of respect for those of us on the ground, please do not make another attempt at sympathy for Air Force officers in the rear.

Drone pilots, please, the next time you feel like complaining about your job, stop, take a deep breath and remind yourself, “At least I’m not actually in Afghanistan. I get to see my wife at night, I don’t have to sleep with my weapon in a hole on a mountain in the middle of winter, I can take a hot shower, and get a hot meal and coffee. I don’t have to worry about bullets, mortars, rockets or grenades getting shot at me. I don’t have to worry about getting injured when my bird gets shot down. I don’t have to load my dead buddies onto helicopters. I don’t have to see charred human remains, or the faces of the men and boys I’ve killed. I don’t have to pull civilian bodies off of car hoods that the Taliban left there as a message. You know, I have it pretty good.”

Guys, any time you want to switch jobs, just let me know. This infantryman would gladly take your job, as would every joint terminal attack controller and joint forward observer.

Sgt. Daniel WilliamsHerat, Afghanistan


Stripes in 7



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