This past weekend, Oscar nominee, American Sniper was released on the big screen. The movie tells the heart-breaking true story of American hero, Chris Kyle, the best sniper in American history.
Kyle was a Navy S.E.A.L. in the Iraqi War, he was born and raised in Texas and originally aspired to be a rodeo cowboy, but after terrorist attacks began happening in the US in the late 90’s, he decided to join the S.E.A.L.s. Always having a talent for shooting, he became a sniper and was shipped out to Iraq after 9/11.
Soon, Kyle would be nicknamed “Devil of Ramadi,” and have a $20,000 bounty on his head in Iraq. During his four tours there, he killed over 160 people. With each kill, he had to make the judgment as to whether or not the person was a threat. If not, then it’s considered murder by the U.S. He was faced with some tough decisions though, his first two kills being a child and then his mother that were trying to throw a grenade at 20 U.S. marines.
While killing over 100 people doesn’t sound like a hero to some, Kyle really was a hero, because he was saving thousands more innocent people with each person that he killed. It wasn’t as if the war didn’t affect him though. Coming home between tours, Kyle was constantly on guard and was having trouble adjusting to normal civilian life after coming home from war.
To readjust to a normal life with his family, he began mentoring other veterans coming home from war who were suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) by taking them out to shooting ranges and working with them and talking with them. The help he was giving to fellow veterans though, is what ended up ending his life. On Feb. 2, 2013, Kyle and his friend took a veteran out to a gun range who was suffering from PTSD and the veteran ended up murdering both of them.
Kyle was an American hero and the movie “American Sniper” accurately shows his life and the urban battles in Iraq, ending with real footage from his funeral procession that lined streets in Texas. Every audience exits the theater in silence out of respect for the American hero.
Article by Olivia Polston