Most of you know about Danny Reed, the man who was arrested last week for interfering with an airline flight en route to Great Falls. Sounds like a no-brainer, but there is more to the story: he is a former Army Ranger who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has witnessed some truly horrible events, which apparently – when coupled with some alcohol before and during his flight – caused him to behave erratically and wound up getting him in some very hot water. I found some comments from his mother, Sonja, over at the Topix Great Falls site, where she states:
danny is a former army ranger serving his country in aghantistan and irag. he suffers from post traumatic disorder from being in both wars. army rangers are a special forces. danny was a good child and teenager he started having ptsd sytoms when he came home from iraq.
That certainly paints a different picture – instead of a raving idiot who just got ticked off and went berserk on a commercial flight, it sounds like a traumatized man who drank a bit too much and began suffering some sort of flashbacks or “waking nightmares.” Of course we can’t dismiss his behavior – the rules governing commercial flights are critical to public safety – but in this case, it sure seems that treatment might be the better option than jail.
UPDATE, January 2008: Danny Reed is now doing much better – he received treatment, underwent counseling, and now operates a taxidermy business in West Virginia. I’m glad that things turned out well, and wish Danny continued success and good health.