Along the lines of my last post, I wanted to give you guys a glimpse into what the minds of some of our former military men do today. How they feel on some of the social issues of today’s society. I interview a former Marine named Fred Daniels. These are his words on the matters of what the media and government call “matters of National Security”. I interview him because I wanted to see how pilots were reacting to the new security measures in airports and whether they felt any safer, considering they have a lot more at stake than most of us do on a daily basis at work.
McAulay: I don’t want to take too much of your time, so I am going to just get right into this. Can you tell me a little bit about what 9/11 made you feel as a pilot? As a Marine?
Daniels: As a marine, I wanted to re-enlist at first. I wanted to take down the people that had attacked the place my home; it was a direct insult to me. I was offended and angry. I still am. As a pilot, it was nerve racking. I had never really thought about the fact that someone would try and use my plane as a weapon against my own people. It was hard to deal with, if they were bigger than me, there would be no way to stop them.
McAulay: Did you have any fears of any kind of terrorism before 9/11?
Daniels: No, I mean commercial airplanes were just that. Commercial. I didn’t believe people would purposely kill innocent citizens. I guess that’s why war is such an ugly occurrence. That is what they were doing, declaring war on the United States.
McAulay: Do you have fears of that now?
Daniels: Umm, not really. I don’t feel like anyone is going to try and do the same thing again. I feel like most people that are true terrorists, to the extent that the people that attacked us on 9/11 we, will think of something new. They will want to give the same effect that the first attack did. Right now they are just too busy fighting a war to plan elaborate attacks on a country across an ocean.
McAulay: The new security procedures, to the public seem a little bit extreme. Body scans, strip searches, and absolutely no care in the world for who it’s done too. Do you feel the same?
Daniels: I feel like there is a limit to where it needs to be taken. We need to be careful. We need to be watching for things but I have seen a single mother with triplets have to be searched while her 3 year old watches the babies, just because her ticket was marked. Nothing was in her bag, nothing else was going on. There needs to be some digression allowed. If something comes up, by all means take them aside, make them go through everything but if everything is clear we need to not make people miserable.
McAulay: Do you carry a weapon in the cockpit with you?
Daniels: Yes, only the last few years though. It has to be attached to my side in my holster at all times.
McAulay: Do most pilots?
Daniels: No, it takes a lot of training, and yearly qualifying. I just do because I have my family to come home to and I don’t want to take any chances. If someone comes through my door, they are dead on the spot. No issues.
McAulay: Do you feel safer with the extra security?
Daniels: No, I don’t think anyone can go back to feeling the way we did before. It’s like getting security after your home is broken into. It doesn’t replace the things you miss. Do I feel safe? Yes, but not any safe then the pre- 9 /11 era.