Plan B is the trademarked name for a drug more commonly known as “the morning after pill.” I mention this because I almost scalded my nasal passages with coffee this morning when I started reading Petula Dvorak’s peppy article about part-time adventurer’s searching for missing light aircraft:

One of the best vanity plates ever was in front of me a while back, rolling west on Interstate 66.

It was on a minivan, with a dad hunched over the wheel, ducking as toys and food flew back and forth between his battling spawn.

The plate said it all: “Plan B.”

Maybe the driver once wanted to be an archaeologist slashing his way through the jungle, a mountaineer mapping new terrain or a crime scene investigator making brilliant deductions to solve the case.

But here he was, probably late for soccer practice or exiting early from a disastrous dance recital. [read the whole thing]

Later there’s a bit of (presumably unintended) hilarity later in the piece when Dvorak mentions overpopulation.

Incidentally, you’d think coffee would be a bad plan after a nearly-lethal case of heartburn, but since I’m pretty sure there’s nothing left of my esophagus and the coffee is just running straight into my thoracic cavity I’m not sure it really matters anymore. That might also be the fever talking…

The barracks at Fort Benning that house wounded soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are next to the firing range. According to the Washington Post:

The soldiers are part of a growing group of an estimated 150,000 combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have PTSD symptoms. The mental disorder has been diagnosed in nearly 40,000 of them.

PTSD symptoms include flashbacks and anxiety, and noises such as fireworks or a car backfiring can make sufferers feel as though they are back in combat. Health experts say that housing soldiers near a firing range subjects them to a continual trigger for PTSD.

“It would definitely traumatize them,” said Harold McRae, a psychotherapist in Columbus, Ga., who counsels dozens of soldiers with PTSD who are at Fort Benning. “It would be like you having a major car wreck on the interstate” and then living in a home overlooking the freeway, he said. “Every time you hear a wreck or the brakes lock up, you are traumatized.”

Fort Benning, which covers more than 180,000 acres, is one of the Army’s main training bases, with 67 live-fire ranges. The base has thousands of housing and barracks units. “There is no excuse” for the housing situation, said Paul Ragan, an associate professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, who treats veterans with PTSD. “Charitably put, it’s very untherapeutic.”

Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, director of the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Office, which oversees 12,000 wounded soldiers, said: “I can see how that would be a problem. It’s something we haven’t considered” but should. “We have alternatives for housing the soldiers who have issues” with the ranges, he said, adding that the barracks for wounded troops at Fort Benning are an interim facility.

The gunfire “makes me crazy,” said a soldier who lives in the barracks and has PTSD and traumatic brain injury from a roadside explosion in Iraq. “It makes me jump and I get flashbacks.” He spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the Army.

It leaves me speechless.