BAGRAM AIRFIELD — Capt. Martin Lewis, an MQ-1 Predator drone pilot in the U.S. Air Force, has raised enough money through the Kickstarter website to bring his military working drone back after deployment.
“Sparky is a hero and deserves to come home, too,” said Lewis in an interview with Duffel Blog. “If I don’t adopt him, they’ll have to put him down once I’m gone. He’s my best friend.”
Members of Lewis’s unit confirmed that Lewis does not, in fact, have any friends.
The cost of adopting the drone includes $1,000 for legal fees, $10,000 for transport, and $4,500,000 for the aircraft itself. Despite his friendlessness, Lewis has tugged on the heartstrings of strangers who have donated over $5,000,000.
Dr. Justin Holland, a psychiatrist who works with veterans, is a major donor to the fundraiser. Holland believes that all participants in battle should be welcomed back after service.
“Every last one of them should come home!” Holland told Duffel Blog. “Military working dogs, drones; hell, maybe even Marines.”
Lewis and his drone flew over 1,500 hours of night missions together, periodically dropping explosives on unsuspecting Taliban fighters and Pakistani wedding parties. During the deployment, Lewis said that he and the drone were both so overworked, bored, and underappreciated that they bonded over their common suffering.
“Ol’ Sparky’s about 60 years old in drone years, but he’s still really obedient. He almost never kills anyone without my permission. Isn’t that right, Sparky?” asked Lewis, grinning widely at the unresponsive Predator.
When asked if he planned to offer advice to the Army soldier trying to adopt his M1 Abrams tank, Lewis was appalled. “Absolutely not. That’s just bizarre and dangerous. I would never let an enlisted member of the Army have that kind of responsibility.”
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