In an interview with NBC News, a former Air Force drone operator, who says he participated in missions that killed more than 1,600 people, provided a rare first-person glimpse into what it’s like to control the controversial machines that have become central to the U.S. effort to kill terrorists. Brandon Bryant, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, said he remembers watching one of the first victims bleed to death. “The guy that was running forward, he’s missing his right leg,” he recalled. “And I watch this guy bleed out and, I mean, the blood is hot.” As the man died his body grew cold, said Bryant, and his thermal image changed until he became the same color as the ground. After participating in hundreds of missions over the years, Bryant said he “lost respect for life” and began to feel like a sociopath.