The American Sniper

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If you haven’t seen it yet, you should. And if Bradley Cooper doesn’t win the Oscar, the Oscars are rigged. Yes, I am slightly prejudiced since I am a Marine brat and have very close Navy Seal friends, but Cooper’s portrayal of Chris Kyle is amazing, powerful, and awe-inspiring. Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper make a mind-blowing team in American Sniper.

I find the uproar on both political extremes over this movie to be absurd. The focus of the movie is not to promote being a sniper to everyone but to explain the complex person that Chris Kyle was and to show how he dealt with the transition back into society through working with disabled vets to help them adjust to their new lives. For individuals, such as Michael Moore, to make comments regarding the personalities of snipers is ridiculous. I am guessing that if he had a terrorist holding a knife to his neck, he would be pleading for his life and praying for a sniper to shoot the terrorist dead.

Whether you agree or disagree with the Iraq war, Kyle’s job was to protect his fellow servicemen. He did that very well which is why he was awarded two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars. He had 160 confirmed kills out of a probable 255. He, unlike what Michael Moore didn’t seem to know or bother to find out, also was involved in hand-to-hand combat and was shot twice. The man truly protected his military brethren.

His personal life reflected many of the same issues with which all military families have to deal – absent spouses, absent parents, fear of death of the person serving in some far away land. The movie brilliantly shows the strain that military life and multiple tours put on the spouse left at home. It does so without being maudlin and with the actors showing the raw emotion that is powerful but not cloying or judgmental.

Was Chris Kyle a flawed human being? Of course. Did he have many issues that one hopes one’s child never has? Definitely. But the movie lets the audience see all sides of Chris Kyle including the bragging, arrogant young bronco rider from Texas and the young boy who was trained by his father to protect the younger and weaker. Being a sniper is not a job for very many people. You see your kill “up close and personal” through your scope. But Chris Kyle was still a hero who did his job as best as he could whether one agrees or disagrees with the war in which he fought. If in my next life I am a Marine patrolling the streets in a strange land and being targeted by people who want to kill me, I hope that there will be another fantastic rifleman protecting my back and saving my life.

Chris Kyle came home, returned to his family and died trying to help a Marine with PTSD who has admitted to killing Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield. He is survived by his widow and two children.

See the movie!

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