Saturday, January 24, 2015

why i didn't watch American Sniper

I read Chris Kyle's book three years ago, soon after it was first published. I already had great respect and admiration for a name that most people didn't even recognize. I followed him in the media, watching his endeavors in civilian life after he ended active duty. I tried to identify with him, battling the same Coronado surf where his story was born, going through the same basic sniper course that propelled his legend. I knew Chris Kyle and I understood much as can be done vicariously...and I wanted to live the life he did.

Now he is posthumously honored in film, which somehow has generated controversy across the very country that he lived and died for. People have created political schism in its wake, inappropriately injecting conflicting convictions of the military, the essence of cowardice and heroism, U.S. foreign policy, and even Chris Kyle's own personage.

The fact that the U.S. was deceptively led to invade Iraq does not diminish the immensity of Chris Kyle's extraordinary accomplishments in the slightest. That many of his personal claims cannot be verified as truth should brand him as a human being, and not a god. That he was not the most politically-correct writer is obviously an attribution to the very nature of who he was: a professional killer, a Sniper. And that we tenaciously close our minds to truths on the other side of the political divide embodies perfectly who Chris Kyle is: an American.

I don't need a movie to help me remember and honor a legendary war hero. I certainly don't need a movie that helps me remember the hard-lined ignorance and lack of unity in our country.

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