AMA for For Former Drone Operator on Gawker

This is fascinating to me. GQ interviewed Brandon Bryant.

PTSD and the military are of great interest to me. It's such a stigma to admit to any sort of mental illness in the military or government (maybe less so presently), that on top of having a struggle with PTSD, many veterans also struggle with no support. For those who don't know, my ex had a pretty fucked-up military job, had a complete mental break, and the person I knew just plain no longer exists. At all. When he came back from being overseas, they were given the answers for their psych evaluations. One peer asked "but what if you think you have PTSD?" The answer he was given was "you don't."

People are of course being dicks, and "how could you take so many lives," which yes, is hard to think about as a civilian. That was his job in the military, and he no longer does it. I am against the war, and am against the use of drones, but I'm not going to demonize this man, for reasons too complicated to put in an intro!

Ask Former Air Force Drone Operator Brandon Bryant Anything

During his six years as a U.S. Air Force drone sensor operator, 27-year-old Brandon Bryant helped kill, by his estimation, 1,626 people in combat, mostly from bases in the U.S., thousands of miles away from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Years later, he's dealing with PTSD and speaking out about the realities of drone warfare. Got a question for Bryant? Ask it at the bottom of the post. Bryant will join us at 2pm EST to answer your questions. [Update: Q + A is done, thanks for stopping by!]

Bryant was profiled in a remarkable GQ story this month by Matthew Power. Seriously, go read it. In the story, he explains that he's speaking out to dispel the idea of drone warfare as simply "a video game." Bryant has been diagnosed with PTSD and says he's haunted today by the hours he spent following his targets' daily lives on screens before they were blown away. While victims have offered horrific glimpses of drone warfare, relatively few on the other side of the screen have told their story. Bryant just returned home to Montana after a trip to New York City to speak to a United Nations panel discussing the U.S.'s drone warfare. He also taped a CNN interview.

Got a question for Bryant? Log into your Gawker account and leave it at the bottom of this post.

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