The Unseen Scars of Those Who Kill Via Remote Control

A devastating, well-reported story on the drone program of the U.S. Air Force and the lack of mental-health support for drone operators.

Because they were not deployed, they seldom got the same recovery periods or mental-health screenings as other fighters. Instead they were treated as office workers, expected to show up for endless shifts in a forever war.

We had to watch a target for days, weeks and even months. We saw him play with his kids. We saw him interact with his family. We watched his whole life unfold. You are remote but also very much connected. Then one day, when all parameters are met, you kill him.

People often think that this job is going to be like a video game, and I have to warn them, there is no reset button.

Published: Apr 15, 2022
Length: 16 minutes (4,099 words)