Dennis Hatfield
3 min readApr 29, 2017


Being a TV remote jockey, very annoying to others, every once in awhile one can come upon a program or show that will hold my interest for more than five minutes. That was the case Tuesday night, April 25, on PBS. Though I’m still having nightmares, American Experience, was showing a documentary called Command and Control. I would recommend it to anyone interested in keeping Mother Earth a viable place to support life, as we know it. On a day to day basis, we may not be as secure as we think, with our overpowering nuclear arsenal. As I found out, just one small mistake and. Well, just watch Command and Control on PBS.

If you ever travel through Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana, unless you are really looking, you probably won’t notice that dotted over the landscape are, what are known as, silos. These silos are not used by farmers and ranchers to store their hay and grain. They are used by the Air Force to store an always ready nuclear arsenal to, we are told, protect our freedom, and our homeland. Command and Control is a story about how we may be our own worst enemy. Though this story happened in Arkansas, apparently accidents can and do happen wherever we play around with nuclear weapons any place in the world. Not a comforting thought!

Many years ago, I spent a lot of time traveling the high line of Montana. When you drive by a missile silo, it’s hard not to think about the immense destructive power you are so close to. I remember the fall of the Soviet Union, and hoping that would be the end of our Mutual Destruction strategy, but that was wishful thinking. At that time, it was said that Montana was the fourth largest nuclear power in the world, but somehow, even if that were true, it didn’t make me feel very secure. They say, out of sight, out of mind; and I think that is true to a great degree. But in this case, it is something that we should all keep in mind, and for more than thirty years it has never left my mind, I think about it every day. Unfortunately, humans make mistakes, or missteps, or verbal blunders; or sometimes we can be just plain stupid, and sooner or later, whether intentional, or by accident one or more of these unthinkable weapons is going to go off unless we regain our sanity.

I would love to end this with a humorous, or optimistic view, but with the way things are going at this moment in time it’s hard. We ended WW 2 by destroying two cities in Japan with “ Little Boy”, and “ Fat Boy”; let us all hope that these type of weapons are never used again in anger, or heaven forbid, by accident!

I ranch some cows

I raise some grain

I stack my bales of hay,

But if we can’t work it out,

We might soon be on our way.

I watch my children

Go to school,

I go to church and I pray

I say

Lord please help us work it out

Or we’ll soon be on our way.

Cause there’s silos

In the pasture land

Silos not for grain,

Silos hold the Atom Bomb

Have we gone insane?