The human face of missiles

In any disaster, there’s always the reality that people have jobs to do, even when their personal lives are in an upheaval.

The flooding in Minot is no exception, although the jobs that some people do are a bit unusual. There are missiles with nuclear warheads in the ground in that area and someone has to be on duty to fire one off if need be.

One reader dropped us this e-mail today:

My roommate and I had to evacuate Tuesday night and move to higher ground. We both rent a house in Minot, and we both have renter’s insurance which covers flooding. What we couldn’t save can be replaced eventually. In that aspect, our evacuation has been much less painful than other individuals or families who own houses without flood insurance. What makes our situation more complicated is, we’re ICBM operators stationed at Minot AFB. We can’t shut down like other businesses. There must still be two crewmembers on alert underground at every site, every minute, every day, no matter what is happening in the town. You try to take care of each other and help protect the community as much as possible, but at the end of the day the mission comes first and that mission remains nuclear deterrence.

On the other hand, if you fire a nuclear missile, the chances are what some water does to your house becomes immediately inconsequential.

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