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Tim Davidson
Staff Writer

Men and women in the military sacrifice so much for the country and those who are a part of it. So naturally some people wonder what drives these people to make these sacrifices. The answer is that people like Chris Kyle, the author of the autobiography, American Sniper, and the basis for the new movie, feel a great sense of responsibility and duty to America, and want to do what is right, regardless of the cost.

Many times in the autobiography, Kyle mentions that he wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself. He ranks his priorities like such: God, Country, Family. Surprisingly for many who first read the book, he never once felt guilty about killing so many people. But considering it now, he never killed anybody that wasn’t actively attempting to kill his own people or innocent civilians in Iraq. This concept of guilt and murder is very controversial, and this was simply his opinion: every single shot taken had to have A) a clear purpose and B) a witness. The kills had to have at least those requirements fulfilled or else the military administrators would actually bring him to court and he could be found guilty of murdering innocent people. In his book, he swears that he never killed anybody unofficially, only “insurgents.”

To some, it may sound sick the way the US troops slaughtered members of this Iraqi group, who just kept coming. But soldiers have to follow orders or else they put their own and everyone else’s lives on the line. It is essential that they do everything unquestionably. The fact that he never doubted what he did was what made him the most successful sniper in American history.

Chris Kyle holds multiple records, however, because in 2008, Kyle got the war’s longest kill at 2,100 yards, which is well over a mile (1,759 yds). To get a kill from that far away, he needed to adjust the aim of his .300 Win Mag to adjust for both wind and gravity. According to the autobiography, that shot was never meant to hit the insurgent holding a rocket launcher, but to get as close as he could to scare the guy off. Fortunately, it was his lucky day because he hit the guy, who then tumbled off the roof and landed on the ground. For those who saw it, you’ll recognize that the movie portrays that kill as hitting a former Olympian, enemy sniper in slow motion just a split second before he fires his own sniper rifle. It was shots like those that earned Kyle the nickname “The Legend,” which of course he didn’t like (hence why it stuck).

Chris Kyle deployed four times to Iraq during the second war that happened there. The movie did an excellent job with staying true to his book, including many of the key events and situations he and his fellow troops were faced with. He faced several losses, none of which I will spoil for people who maybe do not know the story. What they do is everything for security and protection, but what they receive is nothing but Hell. I’m not going to argue whether this was an anti-war movie, a propaganda film, or anything else. There is only one thing I wish we could all take away from Chris Kyle’s story.

If anybody went into the theater thinking war is happy or idealistic, they surely didn’t walk out believing it. When we all stood up at the end of the movie, not one voice was to be heard in the entire IMAX theater. In a big way, this showed that although people living everyday lives don’t have the capacity to fully understand what his experience was like, we can still show respect to people in the military and all the things they do.

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One thought on “American Sniper: The Real Chris Kyle

  1. Excellent article. Although I have never seen the movie, this was a very compelling and well written article.

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