Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mental Health–The Power to Destroy Humanity

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. – Revelation 19:11 (NIV)

The #1206 “fiction” series continues …

US Army Major Grant Franklin stared at the stack of files piled high on his desk.  He sighed in exhaustion as he realized that after 6 months of effort, the stack had actually grown larger instead of smaller.  Had someone told him 25 years ago that life as a military psychologist would have been this complex, he would have taken an easier job.

“Maybe minefield clearing”, he thought to himself sarcastically.

Leaning forward, he reached into the pile and randomly pulled out several files.

His eyes scanned the files lightly.  A fighter pilot, two GIs and a couple of Marines – all struggling with the same classic post traumatic stress disorder that was so common amongst the brave men and women fighting in the Middle East.

He tossed the files back on his desk, rubbed his eyes wearily, stood up and stretched and then headed for his office door.

“This batch is going to need a double espresso”, he thought as he walked out of his office.

“The bears have returned, sir”, a radar technician shouted over his shoulder.  He was referring to two TU-95 long-range, nuclear-missile-equipped bombers from the Russian military command that were encroaching upon US airspace near Alaska.

His commanding officer leaned over the technician’s shoulder.  “What do you have there, son?”, he asked as he studied the screens before him.

“Confirmed, sir”, came another voice from across the room.

Striding across the room, the commanding officer picked up a phone.  He waited for the other side to answer before speaking.  “This is Colonel Steuben over at Peterson.  Get me Lieutenant General Robinson in Elmendorf and make it pronto”, he snapped.

After a brief wait, he began to speak.  “General Robinson, Colonel Steuben at Peterson.  Two bears headed your way”, he said quickly.  He paused as he heard the General shouting instructions to someone on his end and then acknowledged the General’s goodbye with a sharp “yes, sir”.

Lieutenant General Robinson watched as the two F22-A Raptors flew off into the sunlight. 

“Another routine day with these clowns flying into our airspace”, he thought.  “Jablonski and Kettering will have fun with these guys.  They always give the Russkies a ride for their money”, he grunted.

He turned back to address the technician standing at attention at his side.

Major Franklin rubbed his eyes and pulled the next file out of the pile.  “Captain Jordan Jablonski”, he thought to himself.

He opened the file and stopped cold a few pages into it.

He grabbed his phone, dialled a number quickly and impatiently waited for an answer.  “I need to speak to Lieutenant General Robinson at Elmendorf immediately”, he barked.

As he waited for the General to come on the line, he looked at the file before him.  Jablonski had been treated for PTSD several times before being recommended for early discharge.  What bothered him the most were the references from several officers who had flown with him.  They had expressed concern about his suicidal thoughts and his beliefs that the world needed an awakening to “straighten it up” as he was often heard to say.

“Why is this man still flying?  He is a menace to everyone including himself”, he thought.

Suddenly he snapped out of his reverie when he heard the General’s voice on the phone.  “General”, he began, “This is Major Franklin over at Wright-Patt.  We’ve got a problem with one of your airmen ……”

Captain Jablonski closed in on the pair of TU-95’s rumbling on the edge of US airspace.  Occasional tears of gratitude obscured his vision as he realized that the scrambling of his jet this morning had been a gift from God. He had felt when he got up this morning that this would be HIS day and for that reason, he had left a goodbye note stuck to the bathroom mirror.

His mission to reset the world on behalf of God was about to be achieved.

As he closed in behind the two bombers, he prepared to arm his missiles.

General Robinson slammed the phone down and shouted to his second-in-command.  “Get Jablonski on the ground NOW”, he yelled.  “No questions.  Just do it NOW.  Shoot him down if you have to.”

“Yes, sir”, came the order acknowledgement.

“Jablonski is preparing to fire his Aim-9, General”, shouted another voice.

“Sir”, shouted someone in the back of the room, “Captain Jablonski’s wife is on the line and needs to speak to you ASAP.”

“Christ”, muttered Robinson.

Jablonski armed his AIM-9 Sidewinder missile and prepared to fire.

Deep in the bowels of Russia, word spread quickly as its great military machine sprang to life, preparing to accomplish the sole objective for which it had been designed.

The United States of America had declared war by shooting down one of its nuclear bombers.

To be continued.

© 2015 – Harry Tucker – All Rights Reserved


Watching recent news about renewed Russian incursions into our airspace, including this video, made me wonder what would happen if the wrong person went up to escort the Russians out of our airspace.

Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado is the center for NORAD/NORTHCOMM command center operations.

Wright-Patt refers to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and provides services in the areas of medical assessment in addition to many other services.

Elmendorf (or more precisely Elmendorf-Richardson) is a US military facility in Alaska with F-22 Raptor interceptors based there in addition to many other aircraft.

If you think mental illness can’t catch the military by surprise, consider the 2009 Fort Hood shooting in which a US Army Major and psychiatrist shot and killed 13 people and injured 30 others.

In regards to mental health concerns in the military, there are many brave men and women who have suffered the scourge of post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incredible stress they have been placed under on the battlefield.

Some are still serving, having not been diagnosed at all or whose diagnosis has been downplayed or misread.

It was the latter idea coupled with the increased Russian incursion frequency that fuelled my imagination.

Series Origin:

This series, a departure from my usual musings, is inspired as a result of conversations with former senior advisors to multiple Presidents of the United States, senior officers in the US Military and other interesting folks as well as my own professional background as a Wall St. / Fortune 25 strategy and large-scale technology architect.

While this musing is just “fiction” and a departure from my musings on technology, strategy, politics and society, as a strategy guy, I do everything for a reason and with a measurable outcome in mind. :-)

This “fictional” musing is a continuation of the #1206 series noted here.

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