What is Pressure ?
That is what you call pressure.
This former pilot had his own explanation of why combat causes quirks . This was in the days before so much attention was paid to Post Combat Traumatic Stress, nowadays referred to as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) .
A few days later at lunch he went out to his car and brought in a large number of photos of him in uniform , in his plane , with his crew etc.
We also discussed Sean's habit of becoming very agitated when something small would go wrong but in a tough or dangerous situation he was totaly relaxed , smiling and loving every second .
What is pressure ? When I was a teenager I sometimes thought that my dad was a little strange at times. I was, of course the first teenager to think such a thing. One fellow I met at work helped put things in perspective .
He was still in Britain at the end of the war and did a lot of flying around Germany taking pictures of shattered cities. The winters of 45 and 46 must have been an ordeal for German city dwellers . Many buildings were down and many of the ones still standing had no roofs .
One day our conversation turned to airplanes and WW II. He told me that he had flown medium bombers in the Far East and he had done enough to come home but instead he went to England to do some instructing and then flew more combat .
He said just imagine yourself just out of high school, you have been put through a a very tough and demanding pilot training course .. You are then put in charge of a large and complex bomber filled with high explosive and hundreds of gallons of high octane fuel . Evening after evening you, the only pilot , will be taken out to your aircraft and expected to fly very demanding and sometimes complex maneuvers in a very high stress environment . You will also have several other young mens' lives riding squarely on your shoulders . And oh by the way there is a 1 in 18 chance that you will not be alive to see the sun come up again .
Bomber Command R.C.A.F. F/LT Sean Dunn