Why I Almost Walked Out of American Sniper

American Sniper

You might have clicked on this post expecting to find some anti-American, leftist liberal rant on the military and how America is a bully, based on the title I posted. But you’re not going to find that here. Ever.

And it’s pretty rare for me to post a movie review, and this isn’t really that, either.

But I did almost walk out of this movie. Twice, actually.

But before we get to that, let me tell you the reasons why I think you (and everyone else) should see this movie. In the process of doing that, I think I can better explain why I almost walked out.

You need to see this movie because, as everyone who sees it will agree, Chris Kyle (the American Navy SEAL & sniper whom the movie depicts) did some amazing stuff for America.

Hero? Yes. Expert skills? Definitely. And the fact that he survived some incredible horrors of war only to be taken from this earth in such an unexplainable way (no spoiler alert– this was news in 2013), well, it’s one of those great mysteries. He served his country bravely and to honor his memory, you need to know his story. You need to know that he was willing, like so many, to give his life in service to protect you; protect me.

Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle.

Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle.

You need to see this movie because you need to give a face to all those soldiers you are grateful for and realize the horrors they face.

They fight and die every single day. All over the world. They are willing to give what many are not– their lives. We thank them, we honor them, we post statuses about how grateful we are on Facebook, but do we really realize what they are going/have gone through? This movie gives you a glimpse of the realities of war. Other movies have done it, but for some reason, this movie makes you feel like you’re in it. It puts you there, and I promise, that gratitude you felt for our soldiers and sailors before this movie will only be multiplied after. Perhaps you’ll even decide you want to do more to honor our brave and our fallen. Perhaps you’ll finally understand what war PTSD is and why it is a very, very real thing. Perhaps you’ll honor the memory of not only Chris Kyle, but all of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for these United States.

You need to see this movie because you live in a bubble.

Stated plainly, we complain about dumb things most of the time. We live in comfort and freedom, and for the most part, we’re blessed beyond measure. We complain about bad hair days and people who get on our nerves and when we run out of coffee or get cut off in traffic and the fact that we hate Mondays. And yet we have the opportunity to live in peace. Meanwhile, all over the globe, children are born into war zones and suffer unimaginable torment at the hands of Evil.

This is why I almost left during the movie. As a Social Studies teacher and a student of the world, I’m well aware of the atrocities committed throughout the world historically and in present day. But I’ve only read about them. I’ve only heard about them. I’ve never had to witness them with my own eyes. Sure, American Sniper is a movie and it’s a dramatization of events, but it’s realistic. It’s horrible. And it truly shows how Evil is alive and working in our world.

Not only was I sobbing at various points throughout this movie, I found myself praying, “Come, Jesus. Come.” I almost couldn’t take it– this realistic depiction of evil. I don’t want to believe that people are capable of doing such horrible things to each other, but they are. Oh, they are.

The bubble around me popped. You can’t watch a movie like this, see the horrible things that man is willing to do to another man (or woman or child), not just in the name of a god or of an organization, but in the name of hatred, and go back to your cushy life and pretend the horror doesn’t exist.

Our soldiers face this evil every day on the battlefield and they persevere. They press on. They fight it and try to protect freedom because that’s one of our basic rights as humans. And they make split-second decisions that we pray we never, ever have to make. This is why we are grateful– because they have to make the decisions and carry out the actions we never, ever want to have to face.

Our nation and our world face this evil– those who torture and murder and kill for no good reason at all. It manifests itself in many ways, but people all over the world are suffering.

This world so desperately needs love. It so desperately needs joy. People so desperately need rescuing. They so desperately need the Savior.

American Sniper is not a “Christian” movie. While there are mentions of God, it’s not a theological movie in any sense. But if you can walk away from it and not be moved just by seeing how good we’ve got it and how horrendous daily life is for others across the globe, I fear your heart is too far gone.

When the movie ended, our theater was silent. People filed out without speaking. The weight was heavy. I cried my way to the car.

This is an emotional film, packed with violence, foul language, and the realization that we have so, so much to be grateful for, and so, so much work to do in the world combating Evil, not just on the other side of the globe, but within our own neighborhoods; within our own hearts.

See this movie. Honor the memory of Chris Kyle. Honor the memory of every fallen soldier who has ever stared Evil in the eye and said, “bring it.” Honor those who have stared Evil in the eye and lived to tell– those still haunted by their memories.

See this movie so that you can get out of your bubble and realize just how good you’ve got it and how much work there is to do.

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343 Comments

Filed under Cool Stuff I Recommend, The Christian Walk

343 responses to “Why I Almost Walked Out of American Sniper

  1. Charity

    What a sobering reminder of just how complacent we are and how easy we have it. I echo your gratitude for our troops and your prayer. May we be more faithful in not only praying “Thy kingdom come” but in working for it also.

    • john

      100% correct — our police and homeland security and our military afford us all to be in this fantasy bubble we call everyday life– I have a close friend–vet– who has been employed for years–has 3 years to retire—- and he has always said that we do not want to know everything that is happening out there— it is bad and getting worse–so God bless our protectors and protect us from lawmakers who cannot or will not do their jobs for the best interest of our country

      • Shirley

        AMEN, JOHN. GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY BE ON US ALL, ESPECIALLY “OUR” ENEMIES. “PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU”. GOD’S COMMAND.

      • speakjones

        John, the military I respect, but it is the height of ridiculousness to claim that police and Homeland Security somehow do anything to afford us any additional degree of freedom. If anything it’s the opposite, and homeland security is the VERY evidence of the fact that we have way less freedom in America in the name of “security,” which is actually nothing more than “security theatre” – forcing innocent Americans to remove their shoes, surrender water bottles and remove laptops – and is no more valid or effective again the “War on Terror” than the “War on Drugs” sham. Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.โ€ So if the “terrorist” hated because of our freedoms, they definitely should love us now. Wake up, it’s not about your security, it’s about removing your constitutional freedoms.

        • Ed

          speakjones, you have absolutely no idea what the police and Homeland security do for your freedoms every day. If it werent for the police, criminals would run rampant and prey upon the weak and those unable to protect themselves. Pedophiles would wontonly prey on children, rapists and murders would go about their vices without pause, drugs and gangs would grow to proportions that could not be quelled. This is just the major things. Burglary, robbery, and thefts would go univestigated and unpunished. You see, you take for granted the FREEDOM from becoming another victim that police provide for you everyday but yet you claim that your freedoms and rights are being violated. Who do you think stands up for your rights when you are victimized. Who do you think takes the time away from their faimilies to investigate and recover your stolen goods or your stolen dignity when you are victimized by a criminal. You talk crap about people being “forced” to remove their shoes and surrender watter bottles but you fail to recognize the reason for it. If it werent for some idiot wanna-be terrorist who stuffed his shoes with explosives and tried to ignite them on a plane, people wouldnt have to remove their shoes. If it werent for some idiot filling a watter bottle with muratic acid and trying to take it on a plane as a weapon, Homeland Security wouldnt restrict those either. Everything that is being done that you call a “violation of your contitutional rights” and freedoms, came about because some terrorist found a way around our security and killed innocent people. Maybe you would rather be one of those people on the plane begging for your life when a terrorist is about to blow it up in the name of his religion? Maybe you would rather you or your loved ones are victims of crimes because their are no police to stop them? Maybe your response is that you will just arm yourself and protect you and yours. Really? What happens when you are outnumbered and outgunned because the criminals and terrorists will have guns too with nothing to stop them from using them. Heres a simple answer for you….get your head out of the clouds, wise up, or move to another country where you think things are better. My money is that you wont find one.

          • speakjones

            Ed, wow, you are absolutely right! I would rather be “one of those people” on airplane begging for my life and I of course I want my loved ones to be victims of crimes. You so expertly exposed the fact that anytime someone defends the CONSTITUTION and the BILL of RIGHTS, what they REALLY and truly want is for their children to be raped, killed or blown up. Yep. Brilliant. I didn’t see that coming, but the allure of compelling and tenacious argument, astute., sage-like understanding of research, data and facts have me so enamored and enchanted – now that I know my true motivation. Thanks.
            But let’s suppose I wasn’t keen to your adroit wisdom; let’s start with police, shall we? In defense of police, you hilariously stated, “If it WEREN’T for the police, criminals would run rampant and prey upon the weak and those unable to protect themselves. Pedophiles would wontonly prey on children, rapists and murders would go about their vices without pause, drugs and gangs would grow… Burglary, robbery, and thefts would go univestigated and unpunished,” which is EXACTLY what happens in spite of, and some cases, because of the police – in way too many cases (just google free thought project) now more than ever, by the actual police themselves. But I do recognize that not all police are inherently evil, however they don’t “protect our freedoms” either. That, my friend is the job of the individual by the law granted to him through the constitution.

            Now I digress to the meatier subject, Homeland & the TSA. Deep breath … I fly 120K miles a year, meaning I practically live on airplanes, hotels, etc, and can assure although there IS a reason for removing shoes and “watter bottles,” it’s not what you’ve been told and brainwashed to believe. TSA has cost taxpayers billions and not only never caught a terrorist yet, but in their zeal to condition us to shoe removal and water ditching, they have actually failed to stop weapons from passing through multiple times. True story. Additionally, studies have shown that the majority of TSA workers are a rather marginal, uneducated class – unequipped to execute any real degree of true security. Whenever you spot a blonde-haired, blue-eyed grandmother taking off her shoes and receiving a pat down it should insult the deepest part of any American, as it does me. Nowhere in the law does it state “guilty until proven innocent.” In fact the actually FREAKING LAW states quite the opposite, as outlined in the 4th amendment, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall NOT be violated.” The TSA is nothing more than security theatre and a governmental power grab. If you want to see authentic terrorist prevention security, go to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport in Israel. The Israelis have of course been the gold standard for establishing and maintaining security in all its forms actual security protocol through a combination of comprehensive due diligence, common sense, intelligence profiling, etc.
            Additionally, the evidence of a shortcut to thinking, is the classic knee-jerk response “If you dont like it ‘Merica, move to another country!” to someone is passionate about preserving the liberty, freedom and dignity of their country. That’s about as rational as arguing with your spouse, and instead of listening and validating her point, saying “Okay, maybe we should just divorce.” I believe the clinical term for that type of suggestion is (moderator removed). Nonetheless, if you want to argue the validity of the content, being finding a better option, well, here’s the current sad state of affairs, via quantifiable research. After all, I believe stated “My money, you won’t find one.” So instead of offering a subjective argument, just google “heritage index ranking.” Enjoy your bud light as you ponder why our country (USA), the former beacon for freedom and liberty is no longer even in the top 10 regarding Limited Government, Rule of Law, Regulatory Efficiency & Open Markets. Enjoy.

            • Phillip James

              Let it be known, Speakjones you are indeed an idiot.

            • j194

              Then get out.

            • Jose

              -Whenever you spot a blonde-haired, blue-eyed grandmother taking off her shoes and receiving a pat down it should insult the deepest part of any American, as it does me.- So why does it have to be WHITE to offend you?

            • analyst

              TSA has never stopped a terrorist attack. Great theater though. Consider terrorists WANT us to enact the PATRIOT Act and all the other post911 crap. They won, they can say, ‘See they really are a fascist police state.’

            • Ed

              Your rant is filled with the typical, liberal bull. The Free Thought Project is just another liberal rag that does nothing more than incite animosity and offers nothing in the way of solutions to problems. It is apparent that people like you feed off of that crap. It is people like you that decry the security that is afforded to you, then scream and rant when you are victimized. I am a cop…have been for 30 years. I live it. I have a Masters Degree in Homeland Security. I dont have to read “studies” to get my information like you do. For every one of your “studies” that feed the crap that you have come to believe, I can produce twice as many that show an opposite result. If you want real information, go to your local police station and talk to them about what is real. I also suggest you go for a ride along with your local police and open your veiled eyes to the real world. I never said that cops stop all the crime that is going on out there but it is a fact that if there were no cops, then crime would be out of control and people like you would then cry and scream at the injustice of why they are being victimized when they are the “good, tolerant” people of the world who only wnat to “make it a better place” by their worldly, albeit narrow minded viewpoint. I too fly alot for my job, and personally encounter the jerks like you who complain in line about the security measures put in place to try and keep you safe. No security measure is totally infalible but we do the best we can with what we have to work with. And as far as my claimed “brainwashed” information, you want facts? Richard Reid, aka the Shoe Bomber. Dec 2001, American Airlines Flight 63 out of Paris to NYC with 197 people aboard. Reid had his shoes stuffed with homemade plastic explosives and tried to ignite them to explode the aircraft after take off. Other passengers saw what he was attempting and subdued him. THAT is a fact and THAT incident is directly the reasoning behind having people take off their shoes to be scanned. Yes, ever the 80 year old Grandma. I personally arrested a 92 year old Grandma who was a major crack cocaine dealer. Age and appearance have NOTHING to do with the capacity to have hate in your heart and the desire to commit crimes. You would do welll to remember that FACT. You state in your argument about Israel’s security but you fail to see 2 points. One, we are not surrounded on every border by extremists who want to kill us and shoot missiles at us daily. Two, their rights are extremely curtailed to keep them secure. They live in fear daily. Finally, I know that no amount of words I say will change your warped views and feelings towards those who put thier lives on the line everyday to protect YOU. Yes, even those “marginal-uneducated class” TSA workers…who, by the way, gave thier lives in YOUR defense (TSA Officer killed in line of duty, LAX, 2013) would stand up and take a bullet for you because it is their duty to do so. Yet you look down on them and hold them in contempt for making you have to untie your shoes. Poor, poor, pitiful you.

            • Speakjones, as a retired U.S. Marine, I can pretty well attest to the truth of your remarks. Thanks for saying them and may God bless you in your travels and dealings with the “protectors” of theairways!

          • Jay Zus

            Lol there are so many countries worth living in. This idea of american exceptional ism is what is wrong with our country.

        • Mel

          Speakjones. I could understand your frustration if removing one’s shoes, surrendering water and removing laptops for inspection happened IN YOUR HOME, or at work. However, it isn’t. You have the freedom to fly wherever you choose, you are not forced to fly, therefore you are not forced to do any of those things. You choose to fly, so you choose to abide by those rules for it. Don’t like the rules? Don’t fly. That is not surrendering your freedom.

          • speakjones

            Mel, luckily although I fly 120K miles year, and sometimes more, I am what they refer to as TSA pre-check and do not have to remove shoes, laptops, etc. That said, it infuriates me that other innocent people are subject to this as well as body scanners, which numerous studies show are potentially dangerous. One point of clarification, according to the law, the 4th amendment is not limited to my house.This amendment is designed to protect “persons, houses, papers, and effects,” as outlined in the actual law. โ€œThe right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall NOT be violated.โ€ That said, because no law or rule can ever be above the Constitution, any new policy such as this, not only fails to serve an actual definitive and authentic purpose, but is, as many constitutional scholars point out, highly unconstitutional.

            In 2006 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, then-Judge Samuel Alito stressed that screening procedures must be both “minimally intrusive” and “effective” – in other words, they must be “well-tailored to protect personal privacy,” and they must deliver on their promise of discovering serious threats. Back then Alito upheld the 2006 practices at an airport checkpoint where passengers were first screened with walk-through magnetometers and then, if they set off an alarm, with hand-held wands. He wrote that airport searches are reasonable if they escalate “in invasiveness only after a lower level of screening disclose[s] a reason to conduct a more probing search.”

            Fast forward to 2015, the new full-body scanners (and the controversial pat downs and post-security inspections), currently used in U.S. airports, fail all of Judge Alito’s tests. First, as European regulators have recognized, they could be much less intrusive without sacrificing effectiveness. For example, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the European airport that employs body-scanning machines most extensively, has incorporated crucial privacy and safety protections. Rejecting the “backscatter” machines used in the United States, which produce revealing images of the body and have raised concerns about radiation, the Dutch use scanners, which employ radio waves with far lower frequencies than those used in common hand-held devices. Then, only if the software detects contraband or suspicious material under a passenger’s clothing, it projects an outline of that area of the body onto a gender-neutral, blob-like human image, instead of generating a virtually naked image of the passenger. The passenger can civilly then be taken aside for secondary screening.

            I believe we can agree that most any industry the government takes over, is historically only made worse, airport security being no exception.

        • Carl

          Hey Ed, You’re an idiot !! How about we take away ALL security that is presented BEFORE you get on a plane,okay. Then we put it on the liberal media and let all the wackos know and let’s see how quick you are to put yourself and your family on a plane for your “cushy” “bubble” vacation. Wake up dude,there are people out there that their only desire,their only “evil” desire is to kill innocent people.

          • add miss

            Carl,
            The TSA to date have stopped no terrorist; and they have done so at the tune of several billion dollars. As typical they are inefficient, over bearing and bureacratic. You offer a false dichotomy by suggesting to take all security away. There are other unexplored options other than no security or the current feckless (and expensive) security in place.

          • Mike

            Really Carl? You think he’s an idiot? Because he seems to me to be well educated, well read, thoughtful, and articulate. He gave documented and substantiated evidence for his arguments. You did not. He also did not resort to name calling. You did. And, common knowledge is that name calling betrays a lack of a good argument.

            Interesting, and telling, that you would call him an idiot. I think you just scored a couple of points for his side.

            • speakjones

              Mike: Perhaps I’m confused. Did you refer to Ed as “well educated, well read, thoughtful, and articulate?” #1 Did you ACTUALLY read his conjecture? #2 I believe you meant to write the phrase “well-educated, well-read, thoughtful, and articulate.” #3 He provided no evidence, resource, fact or source for any of his conjecture. #4 You oppose Carl’s use of the word “idiot.” when the person you defend was the first to employ thee same word. #5 You wrote the following phrase, “You did. And, common knowledge is that name calling betrays a lack of a good argument.” I believe what you actually meant to express was, “You did, and common knowledge is that name-calling portrays a lack of a good argument.” #6 Even that grammatically-improved argument, although better, is barely even English.

              I would like to acknowledge my genuinely non-sarcastic favorite, which is Analyst. Bless you for your contribution, and your use of the term “post911 crap.”

            • True American

              Actually, zero evidence was given by Ed. He just spent enough time on what are know as conspiracy websites. Websites strictly for people who constantly feel short handed and betrayed. It is sad to hear that people’s freedoms are taken from them when they’re asked to take off their shoes. You must live a really tough life. Our government is not perfect by any meansas
              no government is. But if that’s what you have to bitch about, you may want to get educated in different areas.

          • Ed

            Carl, I think you have me confused with Speakjones. I am advocating FOR security, not against it like he is. I am advocating FOR police, not against them, like he is. I agree with everything you say and if you read my responses to Speakjones, you wil se that we are of like minds about this issue.

          • Sean

            You’re an idiot? Why do you go there? I read what Ed wrote, and it’s not dumb, it’s a perspective, I don’t agree with it all, but an idiot? Really when you name call… what are you saying about yourself?

            If the first thing you want to say about the media is that it’s liberal, you’re not looking closely enough. Most media is complicit with the government and big business. Or – money. ANd unless you have a lot of money you probably need to worry about other things.

        • Nicole

          Police and homeland are Hero’s too.

        • john

          Beautifully said….

          So many, and usually those who didn’t have to fight for those rights domestically, are so quick to give up those rights.

        • Mike

          Speakjones, think about what you are saying against the efforts to prevent another 9/11. Those little hassles are fine by me if it keeps our children, family, friends, and co-workers safer. 100% is to hard to guarantee but think about all the families that had to deal with losing a loved one. Your extra 15-45 minutes in security checks is miniscule when it’s compared to preventing others from being harmed. Yes.. this movie was amazing at showing the common, everyday american what we as soldiers may have to deal with to an extent during deployments and its after effects. Don’t be selfish for your time or having to give up a bottle of liquids, we have enemies even among our own citizens. Not everyone loves the red, white, and blue but I will fight along with my brothers to the end to keep our enemies at bay with this deployment and any that follow.

        • Sorry to say this but having worked in homeland security you couldnt be more wrong…..you think what they are doing is pointless and that its done to innocent americans…..well guess what you only here about probably less than 1% of what is actually caught and stopped on a daily basis….from personal experience weapons, drugs, and explosives r found on a almost daily basis and by these being kept from going thri travel into dofferent areas lives r being saved…..if you only get the facts from what you are told by the bias media then you truly are blind to the reality of what homeland security really does….they wont report what is found and stopped everyday because it would put our country in a panic…my response is based off personal qccounts and we were briefed daily on what happend across the nation……so until u truly have an idea tou shouldnt make uneducated comments…..by the way you are welcome

        • Justin Turnbaugh

          One of my favorite historic quotes. It is a hard and thin line between sensible security and the removal of our freedoms. I can’t help but to think back of Russia during the Cold War with all their spying and imprisonment of their own citizens and think of the attitude of most Russians at that time I have nothing to hide and have done nothing wrong therefore it is OK. I feel like that now here in my own country but when do they come knocking on my door then I feel like it would be different for me.

        • Claude

          People like speak jones will never respect the security measures until it is too late. No one likes them but for people like him he would have to be dismembered by a shoe bomb to understand that he is being asked to remove his shoes for his own safety. And then when him or a family member is killed as a result of lax security he would want to sue for negligence. Those people think they know how it should be done until reality smacks them in the face. No matter how well he speaks he is ignorant of the reality of the world. The reason he has flown 120k miles is because people better than him have provided him with security. That quote was not meant for (moderator removed) men who let others provide for their security while they reap the benefits without lending a hand. If you don’t like the rules of air flight drive, walk, or swim to your destination.

    • Mark Todd

      Excellent thoughts. We are planning to see the movie this weekend. I can’t wait!

    • Hottbike

      Tnx for understanding PTSD.. Best regards, from Norway.

    • Mary Jane S. Vozel

      So very well said Jennifer. Thank you for saying what I feel in my heart and soul.
      Mary Jane Sam Vozel

    • Bobby Hernandez Master Sergeant (Retired)

      I don’t know you Jennifer, but you really get it. The sacrifices we make. Missing our children growing up, all the deployments it makes me sad to think of all I have missed dedicating my life to the U.S. Army.
      I love your words and you as a person are beautiful!

    • Stacie Johnson

      Perfectly said, Charity.

    • farial dickow

      Thank you for your heart rendering words and compassion and I pray we can all realize our blessings and we can all change the world by our prayers and more importantly do the simple things of life by a smile a kind word and trying to be be the best that we can be. May God continue blessings and our country and give us the leadership we need to make the world a safer world to live in!

    • Karol

      I’ve only walked out of two movies completely silent. The Passion and this movie. One of our own from our small town was killed by an enemy sniper. That hurt really deeply to think what PVT Colton Rusk felt when he was shot. Colton’s funeral was THE largest funeral ever in this area. It took almost two hours for everyone to take their place at the cemetery from the church. The family was so patient and wanted everyone to be there before he was sent to his final burial spot. He is definitely here with us in spirit.

  2. Toni Sample

    What I thought the Director, Clint Eastwood, did to perfection was allow us a glimpse of what made the American Sniper the man that he was. He took us back to his childhood — the impressionable beginning of his life — and showed us how the teaching of his parents influenced where he would go with his life. Those life lessons, at that early age, is what led him to become the ‘protector’ of the Seals he was charged with guarding, and of the country he loved. Are we, as parents, raising our children to be hero’s? Are we filling them with the knowledge of who they can and should grow up to be? We have a duty here at home — to raise our children in the manner that will make them people of honor and sacrifice.

    • Toni– I completely agree. It was a brilliant movie, woven with pieces of his life that really helped us understand his character and exactly WHY he was willing to deploy so many times. I have three boys, and I certainly hope to raise them with a heart of service not only to their country, but to all of those around them.

      • John McCarthy

        There are many honorable ways to serve your country here at home. I hope you don’t raise your boys to believe killing other humans is the way to serve their country. Build houses. Mentor children. Protect the environment. Encourage your friends and neighbors to vote. Speak out against injustice. Stand up to bullies. Feed the hungry. Volunteer at a school. STOP a war, don’t join it. Be a coach. Be a teacher. Be a doctor. Put your neighbor’s interests in front of your own. Put your children’s future in front of your present.

        Don’t grab a gun, and go fight for freedom. Freedom isn’t going anywhere. We need our young men here. Your three boys can serve us better in community center than they can on a battlefield. They aren’t helping anyone over there.

  3. I haven’t seen this movie yet and am a little hesitant to because of my reaction to the move We Were Soldiers in 2002. A Vietnam vet walked out of the theater next to us proudly wearing his veterans combat cap, and the strong urge to approach him and thank him profusely was hard to resist. We would have except that we couldn’t have done it without breaking down with sobs in front of him and causing everyone else to do so too.Thank you for a thoughtful, heart-felt post. It’s good to continue to honor those who gave so much and were horribly disrespected upon their return to America in that war, as well as all those who have served our country with honor both before and after.

    • Kim– see it. Nothing wrong with breaking down because of gratitude. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Dave

      As a 27 month survivor of Vietnam, I believe all service personnel are true heroes and should be treated as such, It was hard to come back to the states during that era, not only were the service personnel treated poorly, but their kid had to endure that kind of treatment as well in California. I wear my cap proudly as often as I can. Thanks for your support now, better late than never.

      • chris blose

        Dave thank you for service to protect the freedom we enjoy & take for granted . None of the vets returning should have been treated that way . You are a true hero along with all the brothers & sisters in arm’s

      • You’ve got it, Dave. I have a friend with deep scars from his return from Vietnam.

      • Madeleine Middleton

        To Dave and all Vietnam vets: The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) organization is currently involved in an ongoing program this year, the 50th Anniversary of the ending of that war, to honor all Vietnam vets because of the DIShonerable treatment they received when they came home. Our little community of Harrison, Arkansas has already begun. Our first (of several to come) program honored 50 vets with a special program at our historic Lyric Theater and presented them with commemorative items in special thanks for their sacrifice. Most of us and the rest of the audience were in tears. We have sent out a call for all in our community to give us the names and contact information of as many as possible, since as civilians, we, the DAR, does not have access to that DOD information. By the end of this year we hope to be able to honor all the local Vietnam vets in our area. Please contact your local or area DAR members and give them your information. The DAR is MOST eager to give you the honor you deserve. I am the wife of one of those vets. Semper Fi!

  4. Thank you for sharing that.

  5. Robbi Beck

    I think, as a nation, we are overdue for being reminded of the sacrifices that have been made for our freedoms. So much is taken for granted! I pray this movie will awaken patriotic hearts in this country and speak to those who just have no idea!! Thank you for your observation…I totally agree!

  6. Michelle

    Great read. Just a quick point and please know that I don’t mean any offense. He was not a Soldier, he was a Sailor. Each branch has defining titles and rank that they earn. It is a sign of respect to address them with their correct title. Soldiers are Army and National Guard, Marines are Marines, Sailors are Navy and Airmen are Airforce.

    • Michelle– you are so correct. I grew up as an Army brat, so I know that’s important. I intended to use soldiers as a general term, but you are correct– Kyle was a sailor. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

      • Michelle

        Good ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t want you to think I was being a jerk. As a military spouse, I find myself defending and explaining branches because I know and see how much pride they have in each individual title. I’m glad you understood.

    • Shawn V

      Actually, National Guard is not a branch – it’s a state component of a branch. National Guard comes in the form of soldiers and airmen (both Army and Air Force)

  7. Kathy

    I agree totally. My husband is a Viet Nam disabled veteran with health issues and PTSD. He was a kid 18 years old when he went over and has progressively gotten worse over the years. As you said, we have no idea the horrific things they have seen and done for our freedom. I don’t think I live in a bubble due to the fact that when you live with that veteran you live with the PTSD along with them and the other members of the household. Everyone suffers to some degree. Many families break up because of the strain. There are so many issues that must be dealt with.

  8. Sherry

    Like you, Jennifer, I cringed, cowered in my seat, covered my eyes at times, and cried the whole way through the movie. I am so proud of our military. ( Praying now for my nephew deployed to Africa. Praying for the citizens of that continent – and others – in so much turmoil and terror.) All of our military are heroes for the fact that they are willing to lay down their lives for the cause of freedom for people around the globe for whom the word “freedom” rings hollow. Chris Kyle had the distinction of being a legend among heroes. #Texasproud

  9. Very powerful. Beautifully written. I have not yet seen the movie, but I feel I have lived a little bit of it through your description. Well done, and thank you.

  10. Mark

    Honor the memory of every fallen soldier who has ever stared Evil in the eye and said, โ€œbring it.โ€

    — And don’t forget the Marines, Sailors and Airmen out there that also gave their lives with us Soldiers.

  11. L E

    Anti-American/leftist liberal? Like those words are somehow intertwined? Like a liberal is on the same level as someone out to destroy our country and those that live in it and defend it? My husband, an Iraq war veteran who was medically retired mainly because of PTSD and who now spends his time offering free legal services to other veterans, is one of those crazy liberals that apparently is also anti-American. Those types of statements are just as outrageous as saying that the “right” hates women or hates the earth. It’s not constructive and divides our country.

    • SjF

      I all ost stopped reading the post because of that. It was completely unnecessary name-calling and I hate that, no matter what side of an issue you are on. Thank you for your husband’s service and your support of a hero.

      • Please look around SjF and LE, there is a controversy over the legitimacy and conservative “propaganda” coming from this movie spoken by the very left media. The view that conservatives believe Liberals are Anti-American comes from the fact that they are trying to change the country from what it was founded as. Where actually having morals or belief is looked down upon and postmodernism (everyone is right in their own eyes) is expressed to a fault, not every one is right, there are wrongs and this movie does a great job showing it. Thanks Jennifer for the post it was a great movie!

        • Les Ismore

          “The view that conservatives believe Liberals are Anti-American comes from the fact that they are trying to change the country from what it was founded as.:”

          You stated the problem exactly. You live in such a bubble that you think the bile you read is a “fact”. No Democrats are trying to take the country back to what it was founded on. In fact, it is the right that is changing this country into something I dont recognize. A country where only the rich do well, where the color of your skin makes a difference, where the well connected are the winners. And this is from someone in the 1%.

      • Vanessa

        I agree. She’s saying we shouldn’t be petty because there’s so much real danger and trauma in the world, but she starts off with some really hurtful comments. And it was completely unnecessary to the post. I’m a Democrat. I’m also supportive and proud of our military and my grandfather who served in the Korean War.

    • RW

      You missed a very important distinction – the author did not use the “/” between anti-American and liberal (as you did) but, rather, used a comma. The difference is this: the sentiment described and liberal and anti-American (that the US is a bully) IS, in fact, a sentiment expressed by both the leftist liberal crowd (no comma, designating a particular form of liberalism, namely, “leftist”). I realize I’m splitting grammatical hairs here; however, you might want to consider tuning down your sensitivities just a bit – it just sounds kinda’ whiny.

      • Les Ismore

        As a veteran and a “liberal” I find RWs comments offensive and disgusting. Vietnam era here and I also fought and saw some horrific sites after spending 18 months in rice paddies and other places not intended for human habitation.
        I am so tired of people like RW slamming people who don’t think every war is for our freedom, they aren’t. Vietnam certainly wasn’t. I am also sick and tired of people like RW who think every veteran is a conservative bent on cutting services so much that veterans won’t receive the benefits they were promised (yes keep cutting back on vets benefits right wingers). Not every liberal blames America first (as those who watch Fox News seem to think) in fact, I cant think of a single one. You are guilty of the worst kind of stereotypes that people like Glenn Beck and others try to engender so you will buy “Freedom Seeds”
        So keep the politics out of a gripping account of one mans struggle and keep your hate-triot politics to yourself.

        p.s. excuse any typos but this is one vet who is pissed at the assumptions made here in the article and the comments
        p.s.s And dont thank me for my service, I was drafted like many of my generation.

    • Don’t you love that we live in a nation where political views are diverse and we have the freedom to express them? So grateful for Chris Kyle, and every other soldier, sailor, marine, and airman, who has bravely faced evil to protect those freedoms. Thanks for reading!

      • You seem to believe in cut and dry good/evil. There really isn’t such a thing. Wouldn’t you pick up a gun to defend your country from invaders? Do you think that people in other countries believe that they are evil. Try to empathize with people and you’ll begin to understand that the roots of the atrocities committed in war are from people who just want to view the world in black and white.

    • rjames78

      “American Sniper is a movie and itโ€™s a dramatization of events, but itโ€™s realistic. Itโ€™s horrible. And it truly shows how Evil is alive and working in our world.”

      You contradict yourself a little here. You acknowledge this is a work of fiction, yet quote it as a fact and proof that evil exists.

      Now, don’t get me wrong, you are correct that evil exists. However, this story, as powerful as it is, is fiction. It’s a Hollywood film, made to sell tickets not get the facts correct.

      The subject in question is a walking contradiction. While I’m grateful beyond measure for his and others service, Chris Kyle wrote a book of lies that this movie was adapted from. That’s not an opinion, Harper Collins is paying for lost court judgement based on slander and libel due to the fact that Chris was a pathological liar.

      However, your point about us living in a bubble is spot on. Most Americans complain when they have to wait to upgrade their iPhone to the latest model, as if somehow that is the greatest tragedy in the world. They tend to live blissfully unaware there is evil. Brave men and women sacrifice so much to give them that bubble, and we should do more to appreciate them.

      American Sniper is a powerful movie and I’m glad I saw it, but lets just keep in mind that it was not a documentary.

      Thank you for your post and your salute to our service men and women. Please continue to support them and encourage others to follow that lead. Our veterans don’t receive nearly enough support!

      • I wanted to recognize your thoughts here because it seemed it was lost on those who are soaking to slow death in their boiling patriotism. This is a movie. It’s not even an accurate movie of the book it’s based on much less an accurate version of the life of a man who has already been proved to be a pathological liar.

        Sure, let’s support and salute our service men and women. My partner is retired Navy too. But let’s not turn this lying, proud-to-be-an-American killer into something he’s not. This isn’t the type of hero I want my children to emulate, for sure.

    • My Grandmother was a proud liberal and lifelong member of the democratic party, first female union steward for MOPAR and would be ashamed of what the democratic party has become…Liberals are on a path to destroy our country so embrace your chosen ideology and own it. Multiculturalism, relativism and the all consuming anti-Christian sentiments in your “Liberal” sect, while embracing and making excuses for Islam is all the evidence that anyone needs. You brought it up so I’m serving it up. You don’t like it grow a pair cupcake or run and tell your husband. Kyle was a warrior and slept the sleep of the righteous. Liberals hate us and what we stand for because it feels like an indictment of their belief system and it is…You obviously don’t understand Islam since you are part of that liberal cult of multiculturalism so you should read up on Taqqiya, the Rule of Abbrogation, and the last few chapters of the Koran.

      • First off, I am a Liberal…. not proud of it, because it seems to be genetic; I can’t help it. Second, I am a disabled Viet Vet. Also not proud of that; thanks to the Draft Board (an ancient tool of the wealthy to ‘persuade’ young men to fight their wars for them) I am what I am today.
        But I also have some brains, and love history. I have read that Thomas Jefferson wrote, probably two hundred years ago, that, “A little revolution now and then is a good thing”… I think he said every twenty years or so would be perfect. Those crazy Founding Fathers, eh??
        We are a Nation of Revolution, and the revolution now is being hindered by the very people who grasp the status quo as some sort of life preserver; people who want things to ‘remain as they are’; people who want to go back to the ‘good ol’ days’ of America being the World’s Cop. And the product of that kind of thinking is this movie, and the support that is seen on this page for it.
        Sticking yourself into an argument, and then claiming a moral right for murdering people involved in it, is not moral high ground. It is just a cheap excuse for getting your jollies by killing others weaker than yourself. If you study Chris’ story, you see that he really did get his jollies this way. In SE Asia we tended to avoid such people, and referred to them as ‘psychopaths’.
        It is time for a revolution to move away from the path of the psychopaths and move onto the path of Evolution of Thought in World Affairs. Much of the world would agree with us, and would really love to see the economic might of the USA involved in quelling disturbances of a military nature, not increasing them. It’s time (past time, actually) for another one of Mr. Jefferson’s revolutions.
        Let’s make this a bloodless one, however. Let’s have a Revolution of Concept, whereby we rethink our concept of “Shoot first, shoot later, ask questions if there’s anyone left to answer them” and move to the concept of “How can we truly resolve this issue without killing anyone”
        This country still needs well armed security forces, and as much as I dislike the TSA, we still need them also. But what we don’t need is the idiotic, simplistic idea that it is okay to kill anyone who our leaders call our ‘enemy’…. so far, the biggest enemy we are facing in this century is our own willingness to destroy the rest of the world. Let’s go after THAT enemy, shall we?? If we can destroy that enemy, I’m sure the rest of the world we ease up on us just a bit.
        Please, all of you, just try thinking for a bit. Honestly, it doesn’t hurt, and the change just might do you, and the rest of the World, some good…. eh, it’s a thought

      • JJ

        Give me a break, dude. Like every ancient sentence in the bible accurately represents the beliefs of modern Christians. it’s pathetic that you would act like violent extremists represent the morals of millions of Muslims, and critique liberals for being anti-Christian in the same breath, considering The KKK is still alive AND active today, but no one is asking “why aren’t you Christians taking responsibility for them? how can you be Christian knowing what kind of maniacs act under your ideology?” Islamophobia is motivated by fear of anything different. that’s all it is, plain and simple. you’re a coward, and if you’re not, then why don’t you live up to your own standards and don’t call yourself a wholesome Christian as long as you let the KKK murder innocent people in the name of god. OR, you can accept that people with different belief systems are equally as capable of being intelligent, compassionate human beings, and DONT deserve to be compared their extremists (considering every (moderator removed) religion, political party, grouping of any kind, has them). Get real, and grow up.

      • Les Ismore

        Wow, your stereotypes are funny yet sad. If you think Democrats are anti Christian then I want to invite you to my church. You will see hundreds of proud liberals, many veterans who are devout Christians, and are not making excuses for radical Islamists. You sound like you just got off Glenn Becks website with your uninformed and hateful comments. You brought it up so I am serving it up. Its wingnuts like you who hate their fellow Americans. You should read the Bible sometime and instead of being a Cafeteria Christian, start acting like one. Its you who are in the Glenn Beck/InfoWars bubble my friend and although I fought for your freedom to say ridiculous things like your post, I find them to be pathetic.

      • Les Ismore

        Somehow I think your grandmother would be rolling over in her grave if she heard how hateful and uninformed you have become. It is people like her, trailblazers, that have made America great. I am a liberal and I dont hate you no matter how much hatred you might spew for fellow Americans. Get out of your bubble. Read a book by someone other than Ann Coulter.

    • USMCwife20

      Thank you. Being military for the last 17 years following my hubby around, it infuriates me to hear that…I support my husband, his mission, and all the great thing our servic and country has afforded us to raise our family. I just believe EVERY American deserves similar. I have been lucky enough to find both liberals and conservative friends that just put mutual respect first…

    • lel

      L E……My thoughts exactly. Thank you for your husband’s service and you as well!

  12. I Saw the movie and coming from a family of military .. i cried… i felt that we all take things for granted everyday… because we don’t see it with our eyes. So i to believe everyone should see it.. .. see the sacrifices made for you and your families….. and be grateful.. Thank a soldier when you see one.. they deserve our upmost respect.

  13. Thank you. Thank you for this post.
    I have not seen the movie yet – I plan to see it, I just haven’t, yet. I am close to it, maybe too close. I am a 20 year military spouse to an Army soldier that had been deployed multiple times and we have been through the trenches. I know what to expect from this movie. I know the story. I followed the story. I feel the heartache and pain without seeing it. This movie is sure to bring up demons in so many and I am glad the public will have a glimpse into what our lives are like. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  14. Jules

    My little brother just got back from Afghanistan a couple of months ago. And while he’s “fine” per se, I can tell there’s something different about him just from being there. All he will say is he saw some “crazy s**t” over there. But he won’t elaborate. We owe our freedom and comfort here to every person that serves. Haven’t seen this movie but can’t wait to.

  15. Rob Prahl

    As a disabled vet and a combat vet you have no idea what it means to hear and read comments such as this. We walk proudly but quietly through our days. We never ask for praise or gratitude. Most of us volunteered for this service because it is what we believe is worth fighting for. So, on behalf of myself and my brothers I do say thank you for your heartfelt appreciation. I would do it all again!

  16. …..well stated, Jennifer….nicely written…..as a 20 year veteran I had the honor of serving our nation as a member of the Submarine Service….so I did not experience the horrors of a battlefield…..my oldest son, however, is a former Marine…. With two tours in Iraq….

    • God Bless your son Mr. Collins..but please, there is no such thing as a “former” Marine…once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi!

      I and a good friend of mine went to see American Sniper this past weekend. Powerful, thought provoking, yes I shed a few tears as well. I too am the proud wife of a retired Army Warrant Officer, who was well respected and always put his soldiers and country first, who served proudly and who rarely talks about Panama, Bosnia or the sand box. These men and woman protect our freedoms, they reflect our courage and they stand strong so that we can live in relative peace.

      God Bless Chris Kyle’s family, his wife has held up through so very much and continues to do so with grace and poise. While some may assume that his story is false or made up Hollywood, read the accounts that his wife says is true, that those accounts are based on their life and marriage. We need hero’s such as this, not the Lindsey Lohans or Biebers of the world..but men and woman who know the value of life and fight for it daily, who have a strong will and the urge to protect and serve, sacrificing much.

  17. nutmom

    I literally had a panic attack while watching this movie. The scene with the drill and the little boy was more than I could handle. I wanted to throw up and scream and cry all at the same time but yet I just sat there and silently freaked out. The movie has had such an impact on my life.

    • Definitely the worst scene. That’s when I sobbed the most and almost left the theater. Just the idea that one human is capable of that, well, it’s appalling and so, so disheartening.

  18. The Mack Family

    I have not seen the movie and probably will not until it comes out on video. the reason not because of cost like many people but because my military spouse is not comfortable in large, public spaces with crowds. He has served two tours of duty overseas and in the past 25+ years and the first time about killed our marriage. I did not understand why he had changed so much but now after much love, patience, prayer, I understand. I cannot wait to see this movie and know it may not be easy for either of us to sit through. I cry through any military based movie when it is at all realistic. I sob a lot and my husband, well he squirms in his seat while watching~ I can sometimes see that he is very uncomfortable watching.

    Thank you for sharing this and also speaking some about war PTSD as it is a war in itself that is horrible to have to watch the one you love go through.

  19. Beverly

    Jennifer….well said. I saw the film last night with my husband and it was incredible. I have always been a patriot but never more so than when we walked out of the theater last night. My heart breaks for Chris, his family and all the others who proudly serve to protect. God bless…..

  20. Beth

    This is an awesome read! As an Army wife and Army Mom I wish I had the eloquence to put into writing what you did hear. People’s bubbles DO need to be popped….so many have no idea what these men and women go through. This movie even gave a glimpse into some of the thoughts and feelings we have a spouses…we are so proud of our soldiers and yet that selfish side comes out and you just want to say enough is enough. In the end I wouldn’t have it any other way…..again, so proud of my soldiers and all military men and women and especially those who have given the ultimate sacrifice! Thank you for putting to words what so many of us are feeling!

  21. Denise Weil

    Thanks and blessings to all our military. God Bless to all the children of the world!

  22. Amy

    Very well said Jennifer. Thank you!

  23. hillbilly

    I have not seen the movie yet but hope to soon. I also wish to thank all those keeping me safe and fighting for me. Concerning the evil described in the movie… I have pondered the question of how humans can be so inhumane to each other as well. I wonder if it’s simply not having a God that has the humility to become one of us, His creations, and adopts us as sons and daughters. This gives us all the dignity we deserve. The Muslim God does no such thing. But that violence is alive and well enshrined in our law that one can take the life of another if they have not yet been born. How can our country look at the violence of others when we allow thousands per week of our most vulnerable and innocent to legally be torn apart or chemically burned in what should be the safest place in the world for them? Without giving each human the dignity they deserve, evil will present itself in inhuman acts along with a little greed sprinkled in.

    • Janet Ruth Ely Robinson

      You are so right, hillbilly! Being created in God’s image is what gives human life sanctity.

  24. Kathy Miranda

    Thank you for so eloquently sharing what was on my mind since I too sat in silence as the credits rolled on this masterpiece.

  25. Jennifer, wow, this is brilliant and so well written! I totally agree with all of this. This movie was heart wrenching and eye opening for sure. As a military wife I have seen the struggles and heard of the struggles of many who have fought and survived. People everywhere definitely need to get out of their bubbles and see what is really going on. Thanks for such an awesome post!!

  26. Shelley

    Very well written Jennifer. Thank you. I really want to see this movie. But I really don’t know if I can. My son is currently in the Army and will deploying again soon. He has already faced that evil. I don’t know that I want to know any more about that situation than I already do.

  27. Aldo Trujillo

    Jennifer, you put in words what is in my heart. I am a immigrant who came fro Peru in 2003 and became US Citizen in 2009. I came to this amazing Country because I always considered the home of the brave and the home of the free. This is my home now and I have two beautiful daughters who were born in California and my wife is from Philadelphia and my patriotism grows and grows the same way my appreciation for the fine men and women in uniform grows. I so much respect them that it really breaks my heart just to hear somebody who is disrespectful and ungrateful to our warriors. Thanks to those who fought and those who fight and those who will keep on fighting for our safety here and overseas is that we can enjoy the freedom we give for granted so many times. I saw the movie last Sunday night and I was touched with gratitude and admiration. I could write for hours probably but just wanted to express my thoughts in this regards. God bless America my home sweet home.

  28. Thank You Jennifer. God Bless

  29. Rayna

    Thank you for your post. As a disabled war Army veteran, I won’t see the movie because it will trigger my PTSD. I truly hope that the civilians that watch this will come to understand some of the things that we soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen go through and help us recover when we return. This recovery takes a lifetime. We have good days where nothing seems wrong, but there are days that we are totally out of control. Thank you again for your post.

  30. Candice Campbell

    Thank you, Jennifer. I saw the movie last night, and your well-worded thoughts on “American Sniper” have now been shared with my friends! I couldn’t agree more. It is a must-see, in my opinion.

  31. I am in India and this movie will probably take time to reach us. But it is really sad to note that such cruelty exists in world. It is a few warlords who wants to capture all benefits of the world and they want to keep this battle alive. In this battle of greed only innocent people suffer.

  32. Michael

    A very well written and insightful piece. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  33. Doug

    Thank you for your heartfelt thoughts, Jennifer. But the reasons you said “everyone” should see this film are the reasons I just can’t bring myself to see it. I’m very aware of the Evil present. I’m old, and I just can’t bear to be reminded of man’s inhumanity to man. I’m sure it’s well done, Eastwood is such an artist, I enjoyed Gran Torino, it allowed you to feel the story, I knew this would be the same.

    • Janet Ruth Ely Robinson

      Doug, I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve never been able to watch The Passion Of The Christ for the very same reason!

  34. Don Burris

    I’m reminded of the bumper sticker which reads, if you can read this thank a teacher. IF YOU CAN SPEAK YOUR MIND, THANK A SOLIDER.
    Freedom is not free!

  35. Cathy

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I saw the movie, and I’m also a Navy wife of 29 years. I thought the movie was great. It showed so many aspects of what happens during deployment, both on and off the battlefield. Not only did Chris sacrifice everything, his family also sacrificed. The evil in this world takes a heavy toll, as evidenced by the MANY soldiers trying to cope with PTSD, and the high number that lose that battle every day by ending their lives. Just this week evil took the life of an innocent 9 year old girl, standing outside a laundromat with her mother, waiting for a ride. Two suspected gang members were shooting at each other and she was shot in the stomach by 2 stray bullets. Evil does exist, and we all need to do something everyday to prove that we won’t let it win.

  36. CJ

    As a veteran, and someone who knew Chris, I want to thank you for writing this. To be honest there were parts where I almost walked out, lots of memories of friends… no brothers lost. Even seeing things with in me that I haven’t been able to talk about that the movie was showing, because most people in my sphere wont understand. it is hard to communicate the things we see or had to do, the perception here is one thing and if we told it how it is, people would look at us differently. You have to see it and be there to understand….. so thank you.

    • TJ

      CJ, Thank you for your service Brother ! I read the book and it stirred many things up that I have been trying to keep filed away for years. Different era, same type evil. When I first heard of the movie coming out, I told myself I couldnt go see it. I have since started a dialog with some other Veterans and one very special person and have concluded that I Must go see this. I know it will be difficult but as you and many others know, we have to face those demons down instead of just trying to file them away without dealing and trying to make sense of it all. We must keep helping each other out, no matter what timeframe we served, the evil in this world should not be allowed to put us down. He aint heavy, he is my Brother ! Thanks !

  37. rjames78

    Oh, and Thomas is a Tank Engine. A Really Useful Engine at that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_the_Tank_Engine

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Really_Useful_Group

  38. Tom Pisel

    You are a very insightful, brilliant young woman.

  39. Steve

    Thank you for you “movie review!!” And thank you for your honesty about your “bubble.” I am a 2nd generation veteran. My father fought in the Pacific in the Army in WW2. I did 2 tours in the “first Persian Gulf” war on 2 different Navy ships. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I will. My remarks here are more directed to thanking you for your recognition of your bubble. It’s a very first world thing that most Americans have – a protected 1st world bubble. Have you read the book “Unbroken?” Speaks even more about the cruelty of men. How much of the details of World Wars I and II have you read? The horrors of the trenches in Europe. The truly incomprehensible tortures of prison life in Japan in WWII. The death camps of Poland and Germany. What do you know of the small yet very powerful segment of “militant Islam?” We are all so truly protected and we all take SO much for granted here in the relative peace of the United States. The occasional horrific murder spree will take place or we see some random event here for sure. But day-to-day we don’t live in the 3rd world geography, mindset or poverty that so, SO much of the world does. Thank you for your admission and now please pass that on to your students. Help them NOT to take what we have for granted. NOT because we want to build arrogant and ignorant Americans. But because as a lover of Jesus, WE are called to be HIS hands and feet in this very painful world. Teach that love you speak of. And teach that there is a lot of pain out there that you and I and your students can attempt to overcome from our 1st world position. Jesus has no hands and feet now but YOURS and MINE and those we urge to follow Him. Keep the love going! Be well and God Speed.

  40. Janet Ruth Ely Robinson

    There have been movies in the past that depicted man’s inhumanity to man. Seven Years in Tibet and Slumdog Millionaire, just to name a couple.

  41. ZBs

    This notion of good versus evil is misplaced and reeks of propaganda. Read about the CIA’s involvement in the middle east over the past 60 years and you might find that the idea of the US being the great liberator is a fantasy. One can only watch their leaders assassinated and their governments overthrown only to be replaced with puppet dictators so many times before lashing out.

    • MB

      No one ever said America is the perfect representation of good in an evil world. And if they did, I would personal call them out on it. Cause it’s not true. In the same way, Muslims are not all violent, radical Jihadists whose sole purpose in life is to kill as many innocent people as they can.
      However, from where I stand, there is most certainly evil in this world, as well as good. And there are Americans who want nothing but good for the world, not just their country, and many are in the military in some capacity. So please don’t take out your frustrations with the lies and bad decisions of our government on the people who are willing to give everything for the sake of freedom, which is more than I could do.

  42. linda glaz

    Nothing else to say but “Amen”.

  43. Thank you for sharing this. Coming from a family of many soldiers, airmen, and sailors, it warms my heart to see overwhelming gratitude for what the do and endure. This point was completely on point. We need to bust out of our bubbles. And we need to do what we can to combat that evil in our own way, however it manifests around us.

  44. Jessica

    My husband is a disabled vet and without dating, having a family member, being in the military, or married to one, you truely don’t have a clue what a blessing it is just to walk out of your house and not be afraid to be shot or killed…this country is so wrapped up in materialistic stuff and selfishness that we have the nerve to rant or complain to earth ends cause you didn’t get your nails/hair done when you wanted or complain cause your fast food messed up your burger etc…just remind yourselves that over there families sit inside hugging one another praying for another day to see their children’s faces and hope they can make another day alive as to hope they have food the next day..America is very selfishly blinded by riches and fame

  45. Rick Weiss

    I’d like to think most Americans truly support our troops, but also feel it is our right as American Citizens and Taxpayers to question where and why we send our brave troops to fight and die.

    I don’t share Michael Moore’s sentiment of relegating snipers as “murderers”, but I question the war in Iraq. I question Kuwait, The Balkans, Vietnam, Korea, and the many times we went to Afghanistan. I question our foreign policy…and ask how much of our policy creates these terrorist factions bent on attacking the US.

    I fully agree that many live in a bubble…both those who would call our troops “baby killers” but also those willing to send troops to die when they have no “skin in the game” for causes that seem less about freedom and more on profit (I’m looking at you Mr Cheney). Evil unfortunately exists, but as a country, we need to mature and understand that we can’t just march into every battle thinking we’ll be the heroes we were in WWII.

    Frankly, we have plenty of evil to fight within the US. Not just the “thugs” shooting one another in major cities, but the many “money people” who seek to divide we the people while milking wealth from our country with no real regard to the state of said country.

    As “left” as my opinion sounds, I do thank troops all the time, and still feel our country doesn’t do enough for them beyond the battlefield. I’m speaking of their families and the vets.

    • Sean

      Your opinion doesn’t sound ‘left’, and if it did that is no crime as long as it’s not ignorant. It’s funny how the ‘right’ needs others to ‘think’ that those who consider themselves liberal are against America.

      Michael Moore didn’t contribute a single thing to the discussion of this movie.

  46. Terry Moss

    Everything you said is oh so true Jennifer. Having friends who have been in war and having read the book, I knew what to expect. I made sure I had paper towels in my pocket cause tough guys who are going to cry don’t use tissues. The beginning of “Saving Pvt. Ryan” had a similar effect on me. I disagree with only one comment you made Jennifer, and that is that you cannot watch this movie and go back to your cushy life. I am a 58 year old male, and as I watched the people filing in to see this movie, I could not help to wonder how many people even knew this was a true story about an American Hero and not some action rambo-type garbage? I watched people coming in with all their fancy North Face 300$ coats, getting a last text out before the movie on their new I-Phone whatever model. And I think for 2 hours, people sit and think how bad war is, and how a soldier like Chris must be nuts to do what he did, and when it’s over they leave and go back to their insulated lives and start living their selfish lives again. The majority of people do not care enough about anything except their own little world. They don’t watch or listen or read about the news or current events. They don’t volunteer the most needed of resources, which is time. They live in a country where Men like Chris Kyle give their lives for the freedom and right to vote to every citizen, and we can’t get to the polls that day. The people I saw coming into the theater that day could best be summed up by the lyrics of “Keep on Rockin in the Free World”. Thanks to Men like Chris, we still can.

  47. shawn

    You lost me when you turned this into a bash the liberal lefty democrats piece. I’m a liberal left democrat and I and others of my ilk arent against the military as you stated in the first paragraph of your interesting piece. The majority of liberals arent anti American and its not fair to label us in that way. Without getting into a huge political discussion, it should be noted that when it comes to the military and wars, we will definitely question the reasons we are involved. I am not anti soldier but I will blame politicians and other “leaders” for putting our country in some very questionable situations. Unfortunately, war is a fact of our lives but please dont slam on those with other beliefs than yours. You wrote a very interesting piece but let’s maybe stop the devisive nature that has taken over our amazing country. I say that to both conservatives and liberals.

  48. Thank you for your thoughts. Your words are so true. We all need to leave our “bubbles” and see how great we have it because of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. Remember — Stop and thank a soldier when you see them.

  49. Susan

    Jennifer,
    Thank you for your well spoken letter in response to American Sniper. I felt exactly as you did when you said you found yourself praying, “come Jesus, come.”

    Susan

  50. Andy

    The guy killed over 250 ppl – u call it amazing. Im lost for words! You need to get out of your patriotic bubble! All the respect to Chris Kyle as a soldier. But there is nothing good about war! One world – One people!

    • Kate Corum Maher

      But Andy, the problem with our world is the hatred that is spread…not only onto their own people but onto their own kids. I do not believe that there was mention in this article that “the guy killed over 250 ppl โ€“ u call it amazing.” I don’t think anyone will try to glorify that. When I saw this movie I also left in tears. I felt that what we saw in this movie and how our soldiers are putting their lives in danger to protect “our rights” is amazing. Not killing others as amazing. It is the dedication and willingness to do so. I never once while watching this movie I thought Chris Kyle had any joy in killing anyone. It was his job and he did it. You or I may never be put in a situation to kill another human being and I pray to God that we never have to. In the movie, Chris Kyle said something to this effect… “he would go to his maker, God, and justify each and every kills he made because he was protecting his own men who hunting the people who were massacring their own people…including women and children.” War is horrific. And we all should strive for “One world โ€“ One people!” But as for now there is too much hatred to be done to make that happen.

      • Andy

        Kate: Yes, it was mentioned: “You need to see this movie because, as everyone who sees it will agree, Chris Kyle (the American Navy SEAL & sniper whom the movie depicts) did some amazing stuff for America.” Chris Kyle is famous for one thing, and one thing only – being the most lethal sniper in U.S military history with over 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills. Maybe she didn’t mean to call it amazing, and yes there is a lot of hatred out there. But you say: “not only onto their own people but onto their own kids”, im guessing you are talking about the Iraqis? – men, women and children, which I thought were potrayed in this film as enemies of the United States to almost a degree of racism. Remember that there is a lot of innocent people being killed while we “protect our rights”.

      • jenny

        He writes, โ€œI only wish I had killed more.โ€ He also writes, โ€œI loved what I did. I still do. If circumstances were different โ€“ if my family didn’t need me โ€“ I’d be back in a heartbeat. I’m not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun. this is from chris kyle’s book

    • cj

      Andy, you should watch the move, because if you did…. You would see that it shows that there is nothing good from war. And it shows how much they suffer because of actions they have to take to fulfill their duties. Also he didn’t kill over 250 ppl.

    • Les Ismore

      I agree, it is tragic that he had to do that. But also remember, if you read the book, he claimed to have assasinated 6 people from atop the Superdome. Killing fellow Americans is not patriotic, heroic or amazing.