American Sniper

I still stand behind my prior post “Sniper”, but I feel like I need to add to it.  I wrote it coming from my personal point of view and what I would want to do.  It is not out of disrespect or judgment of others.  I know I am different.  I don’t agree with the death penalty either for the same reasons.  However, I cannot count the number of people who have told me over the last year and a half that they could not do what I do, just like our military service men and women do things that I and most of the general public could not do.  I do believe Ecclesiastes 3:1 that “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens”.

The reason I like snipers so much is because my favorite character in “Saving Private Ryan” was the sniper.  I liked how he quoted the Bible before each shot. Spoiler Alert!!!If you’ve ever seen it, you know that one of the Americans lets one of the Germans go.  That German ends up finding them again and killing a lot of Americans.  I haven’t seen it in a long time, because I don’t like to cry (I cry every time I watch the ending when they are at the grave site).  If I remember correctly, the enemy who was spared ends up killing my sniper. That is why my romantic view of not killing is impractical for the military.  When you let someone go or only shoot to injure, the enemy can end up killing Americans even though the enemy may lie wounded and bleeding.

I watched American Sniper today.  I went in knowing very little about it. I like Bradley Cooper and it was a sniper movie, so instead of going to the gym today especially since I didn’t feel all that great (I ended up getting pink eye because of all the crying I did at the end of the movie).  On a whim I went to the theater that was in the same shopping center.  I thought that maybe it was a true story because I thought I remembered hearing something about it in the buzz before it was released, but I didn’t really know for sure that it was about a real Navy Seal named Chris Kyle until the end. I did begin to believe it probably was true when I recognized some of the names of the bad guys.

I rarely go to the theater these days and am not very up to date with my movie watching.  I haven’t seen any of the other Academy Award nominees, although I would like to see “Wild”.  However, I hope that Bradley Cooper wins best actor this year.  He really did a good job.  I guess I’ll have to write another blog about Oscar Snubs if he doesn’t win.

I like and respect him (even more now) and appreciate his choices of roles and portrayal of PTSD in “American Sniper” and Bipolar Disorder in “Silver Linings Playbook”.  I hope with the recent death of Robin Williams and movies like these that mental illness will stop being so taboo and instead become something that society addresses  with compassion so that we recognize all of the good things that people who suffer from them have done and still do, rather than remembering all of those who become criminals because they do terrible things after they go off of their medication and become psychotic.

PTSD is real.  I cannot imagine NOT having it after being in a war zone.  I am thankful for programs like “Wounded Warrior” and especially “Team Rubicon” whose mission is to use veterans’ special training and skills to mobilize disaster relief efforts while helping the veterans transition back into civilian life. The founder of Team Rubicon actually lost his battle with PTSD and the resulting depression and ended up taking his own life.

We MUST avoid that. ESPECIALLY for those who make this nation what it is and protect us.  The United States would be nothing without our military and we need to protect them even better than they protected us because they have seen some pretty horrible things in order to let us sleep peacefully.  I feel like life can be a war zone for anyone if we’re not careful.  We need to pray for peace for our country for our people and for our world.

I’m thankful for war movies that make me think about and truly empathize with our troops and their families.  It is an incredible sacrifice and burden that they must carry in order to keep us safe and warm in our beds each night.

God Bless Them.