May 3, 2013
Contact:
Cara Philbin, NPR


   



IN FIRST BROADCAST INTERVIEW
FORMER DRONE OPERATOR BRANDON BRYANT DISCUSSES
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MISSIONS

ON NPR'S 'ALL THINGS CONSIDERED' SUNDAY, MAY 5

HOMELESS AND SUFFERING FROM PTSD, BRYANT SAYS
"ONE OF THE WEIRD THINGS ABOUT THE WHOLE DRONE COMMUNITY IS YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT ANYTHING THAT YOU'VE DONE."

In his first broadcast interview after serving as a drone operator for the U.S. Air Force, Brandon Bryant speaks with NPR's weekends on All Things Considered guest host, Kelly McEvers, about the psychological effects of firing missiles into Afghanistan from a Las Vegas control room. Now, homeless and suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder at just 27 years old, Bryant delves into the far-reaching effects of executing people with the push of a button.

The conversation airs in full this Sunday on All Things Considered (find local stations and broadcast times at npr.org/stations); audio will be available on Sunday at approximately 7:00PM (ET) at NPR.org. Several excerpts follow:

On killing what he considered a non-hostile target that may have been a child, Bryant says: "I felt really numb. I didn't feel distraught like I felt my first [drone] shot. I felt numb because this was the reality of war. Three instances in three months showed pretty much every aspect there is. That good guys can die, bad guys can die, and innocents can die as well."

On his reasons for leaving the Air Force, Bryant says: "I tried to talk to a couple people about it and one of the weird things about the whole drone community is you don't talk about anything that you've done. You just don't."

He continues: "And no one wanted to talk about it so I just shut up and didn't talk to anyone about how I was feeling or how I was doing."

All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon newsmagazine, is hosted by Melissa Block, Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel and reaches more than 12 million listeners weekly. To find local stations and broadcast times for the program, visit www.npr.org/stations