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It is admiring to hear the perspective of an A-10 pilot during missions. According to an unnamed Warthog pilot, his sole reason was to protect the guys on the ground. These men, he said, might as well be an 18-year-old kid with a rifle.
All A-10 pilots share the same remark while doing their missions. For them, it always comes back to the men on the ground. The nature of their missions allows them to have personal connections with the men they are protecting. They hear the men getting scared, excited, happy, and sad.
The mere presence of the A-10 on the battlefield is a huge morale booster for soldiers. It has proven itself time and time again as being a nightmare to its opposition.