SAN ANTONIO, TX – “Fighting in modern warfare has far more in common with video games than any previous conflict,” Senior Airman Ethan Miller told some guy that he was talking to at the bar, according to witnesses.
Miller, an 18-year old drone operator, is back from his first ‘deployment’ to Afghanistan, a trying experience in which the airman flew a remotely piloted aerial vehicle based at Kandahar Air Base from his air-conditioned building and adjustable bucket seat in Randolph AFB, just outside of San Antonio.
“You see,” Miller continued, “The media tries to paint this picture of war as all bloody and visceral, like that one picture of that one Marine in Fallujah with the bloody face and the cigarette, but that’s all just propaganda man. Proper, modern warfare is a lot more like playing Command and Conquer.”
“The bad guys are just pixels on the screen and I click a mouse to make them disappear! Ba-boom baby!” he added, before raising his fist to the man and asking him to “pound it.”
Apparently encouraged by the guy at the bar’s preoccupied nodding, Miller went on to describe just how similar his perception of war is to his childhood experiences of playing real-time strategy games.
“You know how like in Starcraft, when the player selects the unit and he’s like ‘Goliath online’ or like how the Terran Marine is like, ‘Jacked up and good to go’ that’s all me baby!” said Miller to his increasingly aloof conversation companion. “Sometimes, when my boss isn’t listening, I say my own little unit chatter when I’m orbiting a target at one of those ‘hot LZs’. I’ll say stuff like ‘Drone ready to go,’ or ‘Death from above beeyatch!’, because I’m all about that, am I right?”
Continuing with his storytelling and asking not to “even get me started on the horrors of war,” Miller slapped the man on the back in an overfamiliar manner.
“This one time, the coffee machine broke and my little mini-fridge in the cubicle was out of Monster Ultras! I had some cans of the original green kind, but that stuff’s just way too sweet if you know what I’m saying,” Miller said while recounting the most harrowing ordeal he had while deployed to San Antonio. “I had to complete a whole mission without my Monster fix!”
While he did endure the horrors of war, Miller sees a silver lining in soon filing for veterans disability benefits for his post-traumatic stress.
“I hear that Rob from the other cubicle got like 100 percent disability for claiming that he got nightmares from blasting some haji into oblivion! Haha!”
Sources have discovered that the guy at the bar is Specialist Patrick Fitzgerald, 1st Cavalry Division, currently on R&R leave from Afghanistan and recipient of two Purple Hearts.
Can you help us? We aren't some gigantic media corporation. Duffel Blog is literally just one guy editing a bunch of articles written by military contributors — all on a shoestring budget. If you love what we do, please donate a few bucks to keep our doors open. Even the smallest amount is a big help.