I made this long ago but it was only yesterday. Harder than leaving, is coming home.
My war was a cold one, hidden underwater and an intellectual abstract. Clean, well lit and well fed. And “Battle Station Missile” sounds while you’re in the shower and you’re dripping and wearing a towel and flip flops and sound powered phones with “hard cards”, rolling switches in Missile Control Center that you hope stop with before “Tactical” because it has to be a “WSRT” aka “Weapons System Readiness Rest’, right?
But if it isn’t, we’re putting birds in the air and in a few minutes, because we’re already most of the way to the target, a couple of million folks with the bad luck of living close to military installations are going to be incinerated. Then it’s going to get ugly.
1960’s vintage Polaris A-2’s with Mk47 Y2’s were good for about 1.2 Megaton Yield. “Little Boy”, the fission weapon dropped on Hiroshima was estimated at a hundredth of that yield, about 10 or 15 Kiloton. And we had 1600x that. Plus another 20 or so other U.S. Boomers on Patrol. The current Ohio Class boats with Trident D-5s currently on Patrol are also, indefensible.
The decisions of a Warrior are made before battle. The price is eventually paid. I’m writing this because of a conversation I had today with another Warrior. His war was not abstract. And we are both too familiar with how deadly is, benign, corporate inertia.