Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Sunday, February 3, 2013

In Memory of An American Hero - Chris Kyle, author of "An American Sniper"

In the midst of all the hoo-ha over an inane football game today, I hope that everyone can talk a few minutes to remember the loss of a genuine American hero.

Chris Kyle, author of "An American Sniper," was killed yesterday while attempting to help a fellow soldier work through his mental problems as a result of being at war.  It was a senseless and cold-blooded killing, and the nation has lost one of it's best men as a result.

I hope, in some small way, that by posting my review of Chris' incredible book, I can honor his memory.  My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Being a Navy SEAL is a remarkable feat, being a Navy SEAL sniper even more so. Being considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. Military History, well – I wouldn’t want to mess with the guy.

The guy is Chris Kyle, and from 1999 to 2009, Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills recorded in United States military history during his tours of duty in Iraq. The Iraqi insurgents feared him so much they called him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a $20,000 bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, fighting alongside them in the streets, as well as protecting them from rooftops and stealth positions and he relates his experiences in his book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper In U.S. Military History.

In a frank, and remarkably candid accounting, Kyle tells his story in the plain, down-to-earth fashion he grew up with as a young boy in Texas. Growing up on a ranch, Kyle rode bulls and saddle broncs in rodeos through his college days at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, and then worked as a ranch hand for several outfits. But the pull of the military kept calling, and he enlisted in the Navy with the goal of becoming one of the elite Navy SEALS.  Kyle describes in great detail the impossibly tough requirements he endured in order to take his place in the select few corp of men, and how that training paid off for him as he was deployed to take part in the war in Iraq.

Additional training qualified Kyle to become a sniper, and it was here that he excelled beyond his wildest imagination. All that shooting he did as a kid paid off as he become known as one of the most accurate and deadliest snipers in the service of the United States. He details the experience of his job and how he was doing his job in order to save U.S. military and civilian Iraq lives in the course of his duty.  

Through four rounds of combat deployments, Kyle was awarded seven medals for bravery, including two Silver Stars.

“American Sniper” is a very detailed story that contains vivid and often quite graphic descriptions of the job Kyle did for his country. He also describes in great detail the machinery and equipment he used during his tours of duty.

But perhaps the most poignant part of Kyle’s book is his wife Taya’s contributions to the story. She describes the loneliness of being a military wife, and the anxiety she experienced at home while Kyle was deployed. And the couple is up front about the problems their marriage experienced while Kyle was in service. But this is a couple of dedicated individuals, and the Kyle’s marriage survived to become even stronger, and that is admirable.

To know exactly what it is like to be in the middle of a war zone, fighting for your country, fighting for what you believe in – Chris Kyle’s story is the one to turn to for the undiluted facts. Thank You, Chris Kyle, for your service to our country. You did us proud.


Sara Rosett said...

Such a sad story. Thanks for posting the review--a nice memorial, I think.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Oh that's tragic, Sharon. Thank you for posting this. I'll keep his loved ones in my prayers.

Cozy in Texas said...

Sounds like an amazing story. I can't imagine what anyone in combat must go through emotionally.

Sharon Galligar Chance said...

Thank you all for your comments. Please remember Chris Kyle's family in your prayers - I fear his story is gettin swept under the rung!