Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Israeli drone pilot speaks about combat stress

The aftermath of an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, 2014

Telegraph (UK)
""We do make mistakes," [Major Yair, an Israeli drone pilot] replied. "But it's nature. People make mistakes. We learn from those mistakes. You'll see no smiling face after an incident where kids were killed. None of us wants to be in a position where he does these mistakes. We learn and try to avoid this as much as we can."
After three Gaza wars, Major Yair has made some "wrong calls" himself. Can he sleep after going home at the end of a shift?
"You learn to live with it," he said. "It's not easy. I've made mistakes that, for many years, will come back at me. But it's something that people have to do. It's not easy. We do not shove it back somewhere in our minds and try to avoid talking about it. We talk about it, we support each other."
The strain on drone operators is such that they often receive psychological counselling."

Wonder how much "talking about it" American drone pilots do? The "it," to be clear, is the inadvertent killing of children.

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