Brandon Bryant: Drones gave me PTSD

| June 6, 2013

Y’all have been sending us this link all day from NBC about Brandon Bryant, the former drone operator from 2006 until 2011 when he left the service to be a media darling, apparently. He says that he killed 1,626 people from his desk chair in Nevada. I wonder if anyone, besides me, has bothered to do the math – that’s 325 people a year. Almost one a day for the entire time he was in the service, from day one at Basic Training. If it were true, and I doubt it, I’d say the drone program is doing a great job.

But we discussed Bryant in December and some of the folks who worked with him said that he was full of shit. His favorite story, he repeats in the NBC article – that he saw a child going into a goat shed just as he was blowing it up (because the US war machine hates goat sheds, for some reason) and he was wracked by the guilt of not aborting the Hellfire before impact. His mates said that there’s a delay in the video image, ya know, after going halfway around the world and all, so the missile had actually impacted on the goat shed by the time he saw the child on the video screen, if the story is even true.

His mates said that Bryant was actually a drone operator, but that none of the things he is telling the media is true. Besides, in the same character as Breanna Manning, Bryant isn’t supposed to be talking about anything he does, so it stands to reason that he’d tell the media stuff like this because none of it is true and he can’t get in trouble with his chain of command (he’s still in the IRR).

In the original post he told the Daily Mail that he “accidentally” joined the Air Force after the Army recruiter said he should join the Air Force. Yeah, I’m sure. I’m going to trust his mates on this one and file him under shitbag.

When he told a woman he was seeing that he’d been a drone operator, and contributed to the deaths of a large number of people, she cut him off. “She looked at me like I was a monster,” he said. “And she never wanted to touch me again.”

So why did he feel that he needed to tell this unknown woman that story? She probably knew he was lying, and a fan of TAH.

Category: Air Force, Shitbags

Comments (165)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Anonymous in Jax: I beg to differ. It’s real life – viewed remotely. That’s not at all the same as experiencing it up close and personal.

    If you see an artillery/mortar/rocket attack on a computer screen, you damn sure don’t smell the explosive or dust kicked up by the warhead. You don’t experience diving/scrambling for cover. You also don’t feel the ground shudder. or feel your guts shake from the shock wave. And you don’t wonder during the attack if you’ll see the sun rise tomorrow, or afterwards if you lost any of your friends or subordinates.

    I could go on, but I think that’s enough to illustrate the difference adequately.

  2. Anonymous in Jax says:

    If someone uses a drone to kill people, you don’t think they’re entitled to think twice about that? They don’t need to smell the smell or be right there to know they’ve taken lives and possibly feel some guilt about it. Especially knowing the reports that the CIA didn’t always know who they were killing in drone-strikes. That would definitely make me think twice if I had killed someone with a drone.

  3. Hondo says:

    Anonymous in Jax: I didn’t say that. I’d appreciate your not attributing to me statements I never made.

    Yes, drone operators – like many other aircrews – sometimes participate in operations that take lives. However, compared with most on the ground they do so from a detached location and (in many cases) a remote and relatively safe distance.

    There are certainly regrets and stresses associated with combat in those specialties. However, they’re nowhere near the same as those associated with experiencing the same at arm’s length.

    Sometimes “long distance” is substantially better than being there yourself.

  4. A long time ago I recall seeing a picture of some liberal buffarilla she-hag that wrote her IRS payment for the year on a coffin lid. Her reasoning was that the US used a good portion of it’s income on defense, so she felt like an “accomplice” to murder.
    This was like in 1977 or so, when we weren’t involved in any conflicts to speak of.
    I’m sure she could claim to “catch the PTSD” too after seeing Vietnam news clips.

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Well, gee, that was…interesting. Next item–like even the NYT is turning on obamaman. This wan’t supposed to happen. Friends for life and all that. Turns out, that got a glipse of him naked. And nobody liked what they saw.

  6. NHSparky says:

    Sorry Jax–but witnessing death or not, they do it from a distance. They are at NO risk.

    To wit, I’d suggest that all those YouTube videos of turning Taliban into pink mist need to be taken down before we all catch teh PTSD.

  7. Anonymous in Jax says:

    I wasn’t saying that you said that. I was asking you for your opinion.

  8. OWB says:

    Damn, Jax! You really ARE dumber than a box of rocks, aren’t you? No one here has said that this clown could not be suffering from any number of things that result from stress or whatever psychoses he may have brought with him to the USAF. All anyone here has said, and you have agreed, is that he does NOT have PTSD. Yet you continue to argue, apparently with yourself, on that very point.

    You simply HAVE to understand how completely ignorant you have made yourself appear. Or maybe not.


  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    @102 There’s something you’re misunderstanding about Bryant’s story. He said he watched a man run away. Part of one leg was missing. Do you NOT see the hole in that story?

    Or this one: he watched someone bleed out and then watched his body cool.

    Even on a dead cat, that takes a couple of hours. I know what I’m talking about, because one of my cats dropped dead in his tracks when I had him at a cat groomer getting him ready to go to a show. He weighed about 12 pounds. It took me an hour to get there. He was still quite warm, even though he was very dead.

    Body temperature dropping to below 90 degrees in a larger animal, like a human, takes much longer. Even if you are in cold water where you will quickly become hypothermic, it takes 15 to 30 minutes for your body temperature to drop enough to be life-threatening.

    Body heat does not stop radiating for several hours. Bryant flat-out lied.

    Bryant lied his ass off about that, and then couldn’t keep his story straight. And having seen the thermal imaging process myself, and how undetailed it actually is, I’d like to know how Bryant can actually say he ‘saw’ so much detail.

  10. Hondo says:

    Anonymous in Jax: you didn’t phrase comment 102 to ask for my opinion. If you had, you’d have said “don’t you think . . . ” vice “you don’t think”. The way you phrased that comment, you implied (intentionally or not) that my opinion was that those engaging in remote combat have no right to feel regret. That’s total BS.

    Anyone who is responsible for the taking of a human life should feel regret – even if the killing is unavoidable. That’s legitimate and is simply being human.

    What’s not IMO legitimate is equating the impact of seeing combat on a computer screen with being there in person. The two are not the same.

    Equating the two is like saying watching a movie sex scene has the same impact as having sex yourself. Both of those claims are so ludicrous as to not deserve a response.

  11. streetsweeper says:

    Very well done Hondo, OWB & Jax.

    I was really fine with the stress (i got to see a therapist, after my drone stint), until I got physically injured. I always had a release, a method to endure, a way to carry the burden. I just lost that when the accident happened. Everything crumbled.

    Everything in that paragraph right up there says it all about you, Brandon. You say you were an NCO. I call bullshit. I do that knowing the type of NCO’s I would have leading me on the battlefield or on the streets are the smitty’s, UpNorth’s, Lilyea’s, CV’s, OWB’s, MCPO’s, Green Thumbs and everybody else hanging out here, a long time before I’d ever give you the time of day.

    Its too bad you found an entirely different crutch other than one you had to lean on. The elevator version, pal? You not only make me sick (NOT really. I’m used to asswipes like you) but your shit is real weak, almost runny. Hondo hit the nail on the head when he mentions malingering. Sucks to be you when the marxist anti-war crews are done using you and toss the remants of your worthless carcass under the bus. *spit*

  12. Anonymous in Jax says:

    Well then, I apologize for the poor wording in my comment, Hondo. I never argued they’re the same. As for the rest of it, I don’t know enough about the subject to know if he’s lying about thermal imaging and watching a man running away.

  13. streetsweeper says:

    OOPs, I was giving Jax the benefit of doubt….my bad.

  14. NHSparky says:

    Awesome, Jax. You’ve just admitted you’ve got nothing.

  15. Anonymous in Jax says:

    No worries, I’ve edited my comments appropriately 😉

  16. DaveO says:

    #109 Ex-PH2: the period of cooling after death is called Algor Mortis. The human body loses 1.5 degrees per hour until it reaches room temperature. Source:

    From a tactical perspective, for Brandt to watch a body cool enough for it to register in the measuring instruments, the drone would have had to be on station for hours.

    It is exaggeration for the purpose of bagging sympathetic females, but the story, sitcom-like, has grown out of Brandt’s ability to control.

  17. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    So, many years ago, back before I took advantage of the GI Bill for school, I was working a two-bit job in a warehouse of sorts. Anyway, the mid-sized boss doesn’t come in and I volunteer to go to his house. He lived alone, but for a dog. Well, I found him, and I called in my report.

    “I found Mr. ______.”

    “You did? Is everthing all right?”

    “Well, that depends. He’s dead.”

    I think that since I recall that episode so very many years later, and it involved death, I should be entitled to something other than a good laugh. Someone call the Daily Mail and Der Spiegel and let them know I’m available.

  18. Anonymous in Jax says:

    Only if you’re willing to testify that you have PTSD, 2/17 😉

  19. Planet Ord says:

    He’ll, I was going to write a long post. Too many issues to talk about. Maybe he should have been an aircraft refueled if he doesn’t have the mental ability to do the job!

    I get that his job was stressful. If his reaction to what he did was that significant, and therapy didn’t correct it, he’s not mentally qualified for the job. No shame in that. Happens all the time. Walk away with your head held high and do something else.

    Whining to the media in such a jack wagon way is not going to get you the results you were looking for.

  20. FC2 Dewclaw says:

    Note: I posted this over on the original “December” thread, but felt it should be here, too. Hope the regulars here don’t mind.

    What was the dwell time for the drone when this occurred?:

    “As the man died his body grew cold, said Bryant, and his thermal image changed until he became the same color as the ground.”

    Yeah… I call bullshit on that one as well.

    I did almost three years in Iraq and Afghanistan as civ contractor teaching/installing RAID surveillance force protection systems. 2 years as the in-country Lead. I would be considered an SME on all parts of the RAID program. It uses the same FLIR camera that’s mounted on the Apache and the drone systems. I can tell you from first hand experience that when Mr. Haj and his shitstain buddies would lay IEDs, you could see the heat differential in the GROUND disturbance (where they dug the hole) for more than an hour. We did just that on an IED planted outside FOB Kalsu, and it allowed us to track the bad actors to a farm house nearby (which was soon visited by the QRT and SOI). So, Bryant… I can say with a great deal of certainty that if you watched a body cool to background temp on a FLIR, you were sitting there watching that screen for a long stinking time. Like, the drone would probably would have had to RTB due to bingo fuel state-long stinking time. In other words, you are so full of shit it’s not even funny. Your just another fucking loser hoping that some idiot left-leaning betty lets you in her pants because your a conflicted, reformed “warrior.” Please go play in traffic at your first opportunity, you scum sucking twatwaffle. You make me sick.

  21. streetsweeper says:

    Wait, wait, wait! He saw it in Hollywood movie scenes AND on episodes of CSI, so it has to be true…..

  22. NHSparky says:

    Ord–I can think of a plethora of jobs that are more stressful than sensor operator on a friggin drone.

    And the fact he has yet to get his shit in one sock and his story straight tells me a lot more.

  23. FC2 Dewclaw says:

    @121 LOL! I was thinking that as well. Wasn’t that in the original “Predator,” where the squished scorpion cools off in the Predators hand in like 10 seconds?

    BB has been watchin’ him too much SciFi channel! 🙂

  24. streetsweeper says:

    Please go play in traffic at your first opportunity, you scum sucking twatwaffle. You make me sick

    I like this newbie! Hell yea! scum sucking twatwaffle….Is that patented or are we free to use it? Thanks for serving and protecting our troops over there, dewclaw. Welcome home.

  25. Planet Ord says:

    @122, me too, but we all have our limits. Personally, I’d take his job over burning shit any day.

  26. Ex-PH2 says:

    Streetsweeper, may I borrow ‘scum-suckin twatwaffle’ at some time in the future?

  27. NHSparky says:

    I love Fire Controlmen. They funny mo-fo’s. And again, even a non-FC type such as myself knows enough about FLIR (considering we use them in firefighting, and even in my current job) that Bryant’s claim rang a bit, well, hollow.

  28. FC2 Dewclaw says:

    @124 Thanks streetsweeper! This old sea dog tries to be somewhat original in conveying my disgust at certain things(~cough~Bryant~cough). I do have a patent pending on “twatwaffle” but all here are free to use it as needed. I think a few of the stolen valor douchenozzles fall in the “twatwaffle” category. 😉

    Thanks for the welcome home… (I came back from OEF in 2011, but it is very appreciated). Just wanted to do what I could to help protect the troops.

  29. AtDrum says:

    Body cooling! BWHAHAHAH! What a freaking drone tard. If he had such a major objection all he had to do was claim carpal tunnel and go away. Maybe just spill hot coffee on his hands or the controls. But no. He takes the paycheck, and then complains later to the same people that paid him.

    Ethical and moral my ass. He wanted to save lives, he should have gone dustoff. I’ve had to comfort my medevac crew brethren after missions where they hose off their birds to get the blood out.

    Best bet is atonement there sensor boy. Start arguing how the Taliban are all at fault and try and forge peace in the Middle East through ethical debate with them and perhaps you will gain back some respect. Granted it is dangerous, but that should be easy for a stone cold killer such as yourself.

  30. FC2 Dewclaw says:

    @127 Thanks Sparky. Been a lurker here for quite awhile… guess I’ve had my fill of posers and BS. The guys who earned their valor (some of whom I have had the distinct honor of serving with) deserve better, so it’s off with the gloves and time to get in the ring.

    You hear that, Monkyass? BB? Shit is about to get REAL around here…

  31. Green Thumb says:

    Five news article “misquoted” this guy.

    Then I heard him speak. Moral Hero he is.

    Him and that tool Chappell.

    BB is a lair. Plain and simple. He got caught. A lot of kills. But I must have misunderstood in the rain and cold weather.

    He does not respond to questions; clams up and slides off.


  32. Ex-PH2 says:

    FC2, anyone who has even been around people dying in a hospital knows that it takes time for the body to cool enough to stop giving a heat signal. And even if you’re hypothermic from being in cold water, your body temperature has to drop below 80 degrees Fahrenheit to be life-threatening, but drowning people have been saved by that very thing. Even with my cat, rigor didn’t set in for hours after he died

  33. FC2 Dewclaw says:

    @132 Shipmate, I hear you. This whole thing doesn’t pass the smell test.

  34. Tool from Brooklyn says:

    Hey Nerds, or should I say Friggin’ No Life Nerds. Why Don’t you come down with your Brass Balls and say this to my face. I’m Smart I’m Strong your all Nothin.

  35. Tool from Brooklyn says:

    Your Mom doesn’t pass the Smell Test either but You don’t see Me complaining.

  36. Joe Williams says:

    IMO,total BS. The AF calling Drone Operators flight crew. I am a rotorhead from Nam.Flying is voluntary. The DO is only getting one or two of his five senses in use. It is wholly diffrent for the crews fixed wing or rotor,long hours keeping the AC in flight status.BB, do your hands become dirty from working on the bird or the KIAs? I cannot but throw the BS flag on his claims. When asked by cilvies about Nam? I tell them I flew around Nam all day. Joe

  37. AtDrum says:

    I doubt 134 and 135 are the real person, but if they were…

    Sure, all you got to do is catch a flight out here to Afghanistan. Seeing as how that’s where I am at the moment. Or, you could remote. Or you could play some COD Black Ops II. I bet I could outdo you at that also though. How messed up would that be, getting beat at a video game which is where all of your “Warfare” skills would come into play.

    • Hondo says:

      At Drum: you’re correct. The new tool commenting as a fake “Brandon Bryant” is doing so from Brooklyn. The actual one is 2000+ miles west of there.

      Also, check your e-mail, if you haven’t already.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Oh, jeez, he had a stress card and actually used it at AIT, didn’t he? That woman probably laughed at him when he said he was drone operator after he tried to impress her talkin’ tough– that’s hwy she wouldn’t touch him.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I think I just “got the PTSD” from reading this thread. I’m gonna go tell the first news reporter I see all about my traumatic experience here.

    Oh, wait. No I won’t. Because it’s fucking impossible to get PTSD from a computer monitor!

    ‘Scuse me while I go play Call of Duty and kill me about 1700 mofos… for real…

  40. BK says:

    I heard him give good interview on NPR, too, while the interviewer was busily touching herself as he gave his self-flagellating, weepy account to her tingling, fawning pleasure. And I thought the sheer faggotry at work when he described, oh so somberly, how he saw a little infrared figure walk around the corner of what he was about to blow up.

    Anything that validates their narrative, not only of the evils of drones, but that veterans are this permanent victim class, scarred for life because, you know, the evil we’ve been called upon to commit.

  41. SSG (R) Richard Thayer says:

    Sounds like this guy is pulling a Punk Lewis. The media is going to do what ever they want. Yeah we haven’t heard that before. PTSD from watching a computer screen? So if I play Call of Duty, my PTSD will get worse? Every kid in America must be running to the doctor now, to tell em they have PTSD. Of course now he redacts his story and say’s he was in the area when all theses people were killed. That’s like saying in 28 month’s in Afghanistan, even as an Infantryman, I was responsible for the deaths of 2500 taliban right. I also saved everyone everywhere, I alone performed all missions and got all supplies to all units, while flying all aircraft and driving all vehicles, shooting every taliban one handed. Please tell us, what life threatening danger were you in that gave you PTSD? I know what death looks like and I have been scared that I was going to die, still I did my job. Can you say that? I thought not, f’ing turd.

  42. Tool from Brooklyn says:

    We tools need to stick together.

  43. Tool from Brooklyn says:

    you are all a bunch of bullies, bullying me a tragic hero burdened by his own heroic deeds because i am a hero.

  44. Tool from Brooklyn says:

    i recieved both the congresional and presidential medal of honors for my heroism.

  45. Ex-PH2 says:

    Liar, liar, pants on fire.

  46. AtDrum says:

    @138 Hondo, Just checked the email but didn’t see anything from anyone other than the usual 164 spam messages a day. I shall rereaed and check again.

  47. Brandon Bryant says:

    My last post was 83 (and this one) any more posts that say they are me or mine are false.

    I’m sorry that talking about my experiences and the shitty community I was a part of really hurt all of your feelings.

    Peace be with you.

  48. AtDrum says:

    Still nada.

  49. Green Thumb says:

    Word has it that he is “hamming” it up to the VA.

  50. Tool from Brooklyn says:

    Please ignore post #148. I understand that you are all jealous of my illustrious military career, but please do not impersonate me.