While Rand Paul and others on Capital Hill rail against the Obama administration’s use of unmanned predator drones, a far sadder story is playing out in communities across America. Legions of retired predator drones have been decommissioned for reasons ranging from age to mechanical malfunction and, in at least one highly publicized incident, a sordid affair with a remote-control helicopter from SkyMall magazine. Recently, some of these newly-unemployed drones have stepped forward to detail the rough transition to civilian life.
“If they shut down the drone program, all those drones are going to struggle to find a meaningful existence out here in the civilian world,” said aging war veteran drone AZ093-J9N, “I tried to get into commercial flight after my retirement, but I kept getting these war flashbacks and accidentally ejecting my passengers, so that didn’t last long.”
Many drones have turned to dabbling in hobbies like building model airplanes or bird-watching, while others have been seen volunteering their services at MLB spring training practices, dropping fly balls for outfielders to catch during pre-game warmups. No matter where they turn, however, drone activists have had difficulty getting their message out, an issue they largely attribute to the engineers who designed them to be as quiet as possible.
“At the end of the day, everyone is going to be talking about winning these foreign wars,” bemoaned J9N, “But what we need to do is focus on bringing the fight here to American soil, and really focusing our efforts on targeting the American people for their support.”