"American Sniper" turning into a litmus test

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"American Sniper" turning into a litmus test

I think the very first movie I saved to my DVR was "Taking Chance."  Since then I recorded 7 seasons of the TV show Psych as well.  I've watched every one of those episodes no less than 5 times, but Taking Chance remains locked in time on my DVR at about 3 minutes.  I just can't watch it.  I tried, but couldn't do it.  Same with Lone Survivor (I was QRF at Bagram when that went down) even though I've been at events with Marcus on numerous occasions.  Never seen RESTREPO either, despite knowing some of the guys.  I even hung out with Josh Person (who like myself lives the lumberjack beard life) who some may remember from "Generation Kill" which (again) I've never seen.  

And so it is with American Sniper for now anyway.  Judging from my friends, coworkers, people in my church, and even Mike and Mike on ESPN from this morning (not to mention box office receipts) I guess I am pretty much an Army of One.  Again, I would LOVE to see it, support it even, but I think it would probably make me a bit tense, and I have enough issues sleeping as it is.  Some day if the wife takes a trip for a few days I may lock myself in the basement and watch them all back to back to back.

Nonetheless, I've been following everything on it, and it really is turning into a litmus test.  This is from SCPR.org:

Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" is breaking box office records, but it's also getting Americans to talk about how Hollywood portrays the military. We wanted to hear what people who have actually been to war think, so we sent Off-Ramp contributor Robert Garrova to his local American Legion - Post 280 in East Pasadena.

Erik Quiros served with the Unite States Army in Iraq. He says Hollywood's portrayal of the military often mirrors society's view of war. 

"In this latest rendition of Chris Kyle and American Sniper I've been hearing that he's an American hero. And people are saying things to the contrary and that kind of bothers me when I hear that." 

Quiros says he doesn't really agree with pegging "American Sniper" as a propaganda film, as some have chosen to do. "It can't be a propaganda film because it shows the negative consequences of being a veteran," he says. "I feel that any movie that essentially shows a consequence to combat and to war really does a good job." 

Mark Castanon served 13 years in the active duty army, with two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. "You gotta understand Hollywood," he says. "Hollywood's all about entertainment value, so I take what Hollywood puts out about the military with a grain of salt."

Well, he's not wrong (although some in Hollywood have been awesome that I will discuss below.)  There have been some ABSURD war movies out there in the recent past.  I don't think I'll ever forgive Tommy Lee Jones for "In the Valley of Elah" and every time I see Mark Cuban on TV all I can think of is him funding that asinine movie "Redacted".  I guess Hurt Locker was OK, although my friends said it had some ridiculous scene with an EOD guy running alone through the streets.  Um.  Yeah, that doesn't happen.  

Anyway, if you aren't following the entire thing, the best place to get all of it is from Twitchy, which is admittedly a right-wing aggregator of Twitter, so they aren't without their biases to be sure.  Some are Hollywood, others just media people, but a sampling of the idiocy...

Michael Moore:  My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse

Alternet writer Max Blumenthal:  I haven't seen American Sniper, but correct me if I'm wrong: An occupier mows down faceless Iraqis but the real victim is his anguished soul

Seth Rogan (who is backtracking now) comparing it to a Nazi propaganda video: American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that's showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.

Howard Dean:  There is a lot of anger in this country, and the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry … I bet you if you looked at a cross-section of the Tea Party and people who go see this movie, there’s a lot of intersection.

Salon.com (always good for lunacy): Hey, fans: Questioning the Iraq War actually *is* patriotic.

UPDATE:  Forget the rest of those, the absolute dumbest thing you will read today, this week, probably ever is this drivel from the Vice President of the "Future of Freedom Foundation" (no, they are not left wing, this is a libertarian/Ron Paul affiliated group apparently):

Excuse me, but I have trouble seeing an essential difference between what Kyle did in Iraq and what Adam Lanza did at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It certainly was not heroism.

Note that this clown's email address is available at the link above if anyone wants to take on the Herculean task of explaining the difference to him.


There are tons more out there, and you can see some of them BY CLICKING HERE.  I know Jesse Ventura said something as well, but I'm not even going there.

But, I do take issue with Mr Castanon in one small portion, there are some in Hollywood who are AWESOME about this.  Obviously Gary Sinese always deserves mention.  Kid Rock, James Woods and comedian Jim Gaffigan all came out swinging against those railing against the movie.  I know Dean Cain has said some great things about the movie as well, and the aforementioned Mike and Mike were incredibly gracious this morning.

But by far my two favorite citiques of these clowns were from actual snipers.

First, Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer:

I’m sure that his grandfather who died serving this country is rolling over in his grave knowing that his grandson is using him to justify him calling U.S. service men cowards. I’d be willing to bet that at some point during his grandfather’s service, he was watched over by U.S. snipers, and probably had his life saved more than once by U.S. snipers during the war.

I served as a Marine sniper for three years, and I believe the film American Sniper depicted what we do perfectly. A sniper’s primary goal is to eliminate ground threats for U.S. guys on the ground. Is that what a coward is? A person whose goal is to save the lives of his warrior brothers?

No, cowards are people who didn’t have the guts to serve, and are happy to sit back in a free and protected country and call our service members cowards. I find it funny that this Moore guy would only say this after Chris Kyle was killed. I’d have loved to see him say that to Chris’s face. 

My ABSOLUTE favorite though was from this sniper named "Sikes":

Good afternoon there sweetheart, I hope this finds you alive and well. You can thank our men and women of the armed forces for that, by the way, and that also includes us cowardly snipers....

It’s typical of “men” like you to criticize the intestinal fortitude, focus, discipline and patriotism of a sniper. It must stem from an inferiority complex or something. But hey, it’s okay cupcake. We snipers are thick skinned and the efforts of world class turds such as yourself to portray us in a negative light only makes us laugh. If you and I were in the same room, I’d throw you a smile and gently pat you on the head knowing you’re nothing more than a mouth breathing, Crisco sweating waste of space not even worthy of being in the presence of a sniper. It’s almost funny how people like you preach things like ‘acceptance’ and ‘not passing judgement’ or ‘labeling people’, but then are the first to do so when a person is in some way dissimilar from you.

Look, I wasn't a sniper.  It was only when they came out with the M68 red dot thing I could get expert.  With an ACOG I could see stuff too.  But with 20/400 eyesight, I was much more comfortable with my M203 grenade launcher.  But knowing snipers were out there covering us was a GREAT thing.  (Not as great as an A10 rolling over our heads, but I'll not digress.)  

Anyway, reports are that theaters are packed seeing this movie.  I know a group from my church went to see it last weekend and they had to sit in the front row because it was packed everywhere else.  

So, have you seen the movie yet?  Are you going to?  What was your reaction if you went, and if you didn't is there a specific reason, or just not interested?



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Great movie, but it is a one and done movie where I don't anticipate ever seeing it again.

Excellent movie. I was amazed at the complete silence in the theater at the end of the movie, not a soul stood up as the credits were running. Even as we were departing the theater the crowd was still silent.

You are absolutely correct. Same experience with me. That says something about the true emotional power of this movie.

I thought it was an excellent movie! During the movie I experience moments of anger, happiness, laughter, sadness, exhilaration, anxiety, etc etc. I was a ground pounder during my Iraq tour and had to sit in my vehicle for about 20 minutes after the movie just to decompress and gather my thoughts. I had been told of the severe silence at the end of the movie, and was still amazed at it when I experienced it. I usually download bootleg movies instead of going to the theater, but I truly wanted to support it so I went by myself one weekday afternoon. I think I'll be buying the DVD when it hits the shelves too!

I thought it was an excellent movie! During the movie I experience moments of anger, happiness, laughter, sadness, exhilaration, anxiety, etc etc. I was a ground pounder during my Iraq tour and had to sit in my vehicle for about 20 minutes after the movie just to decompress and gather my thoughts. I had been told of the severe silence at the end of the movie, and was still amazed at it when I experienced it. I usually download bootleg movies instead of going to the theater, but I truly wanted to support it so I went by myself one weekday afternoon. I think I'll be buying the DVD when it hits the shelves too!

What a powerful message. Absolutely 'must see' movie. Anyone who bad mouths the film has either not seen it or is anti-American. The enemy of today is no longer easy to identify until they commit to killing our service members. The sniper helps the rest of us do our job both in the air and on the ground. I salute you my sniper brothers in arms.

So I'm "anti-American" am I? You don't even fucking know me, numbnuts. There's a good reason that I will not see that unadulterated propaganda that does nothing but glorify a confirmed LIAR .

Then don't see it.....we don't care

I have not seen the movie. Don't know if I will. Generally not a fan of war movies or others with lots of violence. I just don't like to watch it. Although I do sometimes come across one that I like. I was in the Air Force. Never in combat. One of my problems with war movies in general is that they tend to make it look too easy. Only the enemy or the peripheral characters get killed. Nobody gets horribly maimed. On the other hand, do I want to see the good guys getting killed? No. Do I want to see anybody getting maimed? No. From what I have heard and read, war is bad. It's evil. There is obviously a need to defend ourselves and protect our interests, but war should never be the first option on the table. As for snipers, I probably don't understand their role or their exposure very well, but it seems to me that a sniper is just another weapon. People getting killed don't care if it's by a sniper or by a grenade. I assume we use snipers where they are the most effective option available. It seems to me that being a sniper is dangerous work, and I am glad that somebody is willing to do it. It seems to me that being a sniper requires considerable courage. Sure, you are hiding in as good a place as you can find and looking for targets, but guess what? The "targets" are also looking for you, and I am sure that snipers get picked off themselves, surrounded and captured, blown up, etc. It seems to me that this is not unlike being any other kind of soldier. You do the best you can to carry out your mission and come back alive. I don't know how realistic the movie is. If I see it, I still won't know, because I have not been there. I do think it's good to talk about this stuff, but I wish we could (all) avoid the name calling.


I plan to see it myself, if for nothing else, for its entertainment value. It's great that people like to think Hollywood movies are designed for the 'less fortunate' folks the ability to see what the 'real world' is like. Come on. It's like any other movie, it's designed to entertain, maybe strike up conversation, but hell, if you think you are so well informed and so world traveled, been there done that kind of person, get off your high horse. Having been in the military myself (USAF Combat Engineer), and getting asked 5000 times after Top Gun, "is the Air Force really like that" when I went home on leave. I knew right then and there military movies are NOT the real world! Yeah, really bad example but then again, why not overstate the obvious. Why can't people just take it for what it is. A movie, a dedication to a soldier, one of many, a means to make some $$. If the movie moves you, if it makes you think, makes you reflect, hell makes you shed a tear or 3 then the director and actors have done their job and you've helped them make a few extra bucks. Take it as it is.

Does this really make sense, well maybe it will, maybe it won't, it's the fact that we have the ability to speak our minds, bear our hearts in public forum, and if you're smart, know damn good an well that because of a 'real soldier, a real marine, a real pilot, a real sailor' did what they had to do, did their job and remembered a very fundemental rule of any one in the service. We may not support the CIC, but we will support the mission. We may not agree with the orders but we follow them out a sense of duty and the fact that we volunteered to be told what to do and how to do it, just like our fathers/mothers and grandfathers/mothers and in some cases further back than that

My apologies if I've pissed someone off, if I've made some type of error (we all do) or if I've accidentally made a valid point.

"Erik Quiros served with the Unite (sic - wrong typo in this article, so allow me - United!!!) States Army in Iraq. He says Hollywood's portrayal of the military often mirrors society's view of war." ??? Thank you for your service Erik, but I disagree. Today, there few movies worthy of that statement - and "American Sniper" is one of them. Clint Eastwood produced a true work of art and should get an Oscar for this. Something tells me he won't, considering the predominant hypocritical, twisted culture of Hollywood. Much of Hollywood only mirrors Hollywood's views and much of it is far removed from reality, especially the toads that think they are the spokespersons of Hollywood, i.e., Michael Moore, Seth Rogan, and in politics, How-weird Dean ??? How can anyone possibly take Salon.Com seriously? Well, I suppose if you take Rolling Stone seriously, then... Now Jesse Ventura jumps in? They get their attention and publicity from the udder of the media at any cost. Now most of them are all doing the Jane Fonda walk-back. Hey, I wonder what she thought of it? You can't criticize the Mona Lisa until you've seen it.

I have not seen the movie yet, but plan to soon. I had Marine Sniper training, but my vision was off just enough to eleminate me from selection. Not everyone is selected, only the cream of the crop and best shots. Thats OK, I still served my best for 24 years. Some situations were bad, others were worse. I am just glad I servived to retire and try to enjoy the benefits of the greatest nation in the world. I was there and would have given my life if needed, but as a lucky one I survives and my children are happy for it. You punks who have NEVER worn a uniform should shut the f--- up. If you have no guts and only a big mouth (Soros--sorry ass) then just what have YOU done to help this great country whose soldiers and sailors have been fighting and dieing for over 300 years, and their deaths have given you the priviege to run your mouth without someone shooting you or theowing you in prison. You better thank a serviceman or woman....

I was in Ga post 64 on 11nov14. I was minding my business when the good looking 26 yr old female bar tender asked me what I think when someone who has not served tells you "thank you for your service" . I said "I think all you p------ need to be drafted"

Great movie, period. Others calling propaganda are actually fueling the fire for more exposure, so in a small way naysayers are promoting the film and the story. After watching the movie, I researched more about the story and found it more compelling. The film exposes what Americans should know about their troops: Sacrifice, Commitment, Honor, Duty, Loyalty, Triumph.

Very special, VERY SPECIAL, people serve in our military; very special men and women alike. If one has not "served," one cannot begin to understand what is in the heads of our men and women in uniform. None of us wants armed conflict. However, something inside of us wants to be prepared, and able, to defend each other as well as ourselves, our families and our country. The "Sniper" is the epitome of the military in bringing about the demise of the enemy. Operating with the philosophy of "Extreme Prejudice" toward those who would do America harm, the "Sniper" is the "Sheep Dog" within our finest military arms.

Chris Kyle was a complicated being.

I didn't want to see the film, but I have now, and there was a profound disconnect between the Kyle presented in his book, and the Kyle depicted in the movie. In the complicated being department, he was a serial exaggerator, if not a liar, which is why, and you would know this as well as anyone, it wasn't hard for Ventura to win his case. If Ventura had something to say about the film, I'd respect it. He's done his own "good name" enough hard that I've never wept that he was obviously done a disservice by the late Kyle.

But what I saw in the film felt so far away from that. It felt like it very well captured, using Kyle, what we've all felt in the service post-9/11. What we would do for our brothers. What we feel to be away. Courtships run amok, relationships tested by multiple tours. Kyle isn't a portrait in black and white, he was a human being as flawed as the rest of us.

The issue for the set that would criticize Kyle and this film isn't that he was a sniper. It was that he defied their Narrative of the warrior who rues, rather than revels in, what he is called upon to do. Little old harmless infantry me who travels in mostly leftist circles doesn't raise their ire, because I get their pitiable condescension, in spite of the number of times I tried to tell them, whether or not I believed Iraq was a necessary war, I WANTED TO BE THERE. Whatever the compromises they find within Kyle, he troubles them the most because he WANTED to do what he did.

The film wasn't a propaganda piece. It was an explanation.

Well said. Like they say, the book is always better than the movie. A picture may take the place of a thousand words, but movies never will. Not having read the book, I could still tell Chris Kyle was one of those "good old boys" who could spin a yarn a mile long and have people believing it. Nonetheless, in battle, it would be my guess that focusing on reality is extremely critical to your survival, and for those you are protecting. Mr. Scruff Face is no different, perhaps in some minor respects. I'm glad he got decked in the bar, and I hope he's happy with all the publicity he got and with the $1.8 million he's getting from Chris Kyle's widow. What a scumbag.

VN combat vet. Just read the book, how did I miss it? Want to see the film, only a little afraid since I already know and live with PTSD. Then again, I saw Private Ryan 4 times and came away a better man each time. I think we can learn from our exposures, even if horrible, so count on me mustering the nerve to get to this one. Besides, Clint himself is one of my heroes.

I haven't seen the movie but just finished the book, couldn't put down, finished in a week and I'm a slow reader !! I will see the movie and soon !!! I think Michel Moore is a fat worthless creep but that's not surprising, I'm proud of my country and our military !!
I don't think you have to read the book but I would highly recommend you read the few pages at the end of the book !!!
The Life of Chris Kyle
About the book by Taya Kyle
How tragedy shaped the American Script by Jason Hall- screenwriter and producer
this tells some wonderful I site into Bradley Cooper who plays Chris and Clint Eastwood,,they both visited Chris's family and home town,,, reading that gives you a feel about why the movie and story leaves people speechless as the movie ends !!!
We are lucky as Americans to have the Chris Kyles of the world continually standing in harms way for US,,,,that's USA,,,,,us,,,,God Bless ,,,Chris !!!!

The validity of war is best left to the governments of the countries involved. The engagements should be left to the paramilitaries . That being said, it is almost impossible to judge the actions of the soldiers, as they try to fight and stay alive. And who can accurately judge their morals. Perhaps, the best opinion, is no opinion.

I've watched nearly every interview I could of Mr. Kyle explaining himself and the book. That is all I need to know his character regardless of what detracters may say. I'm most disturbed that a certain ex governor not only won $1.8 million from the family's estate but last December filed suit against the publisher too. Besides even if he lost his temper a few times, that is "normal". I'm quite sure he has been foregiven where he is now and hope and pray his family will be ok and well cared for.

As an American veteran I do not agree with people who assume that only veterans can make statements about war. I was a soldier, not the member of a secret cult. I think the AL puts out the argument pretty good, I thought the SOF interview was excellent on the topic, read the book, also excellent. But what are people arguing? Several sites have pointed out the discrepancies between the book and the movie and even well researched books have errors, typos and controversies like those that surrounded Ambrose when he reached a certain level of notoriety.
The problem between the unrepentant veteran warrior and those that believe war is a constant evil never serving any purpose or good is at root here. and it is often the likes of Moore who is not a pacifist that gives that notion a decidedly Anti-american leaning. The Viet Cong weren't bad guys the American soldier was the bad guy. My Lai over shadows and becomes the template in the book a page of which was torn today to assail Henry Kissinger and send McCain into a rage because the Chomsky Marxist socialist propaganda crowd have a one-dimensional aspect to every issue concerning the american soldier, and it is no coincidence that it is coming to a head in the Obama years when we have supposedly achieved peace. The Taliban isn't a terrorist organization its an insurgency, and because of this inane outlook the middle East is burning awash in innocent blood because American political pacifism is an enabler. I feel for those vets who don;t believe fanatical useful idiots of defunct Marxist ideology and pro-Islamic anti-Americanism should be the only voice. Hollywood has pretty much made that the case and its monopoly being challenged this way has the twits in an uproar. Its very satisfying.
I'm going to buy the DVD and watch it at home. I don't want to go to a Hollywood owned theater. I had planned to go to a theater with a friend who was a sniper and continues to run ranges, we both lost our enthusiasm with the tearful soppy Hollywood advertising.

As a past Navy Fighter Pilot, Weapons Officer and 179 combat missions, mostly over North Vietnam, the book was great and looking forward to seeing the movie. Jesse Ventura is a dumbed down piece of shit, worth only of wiping the ass of a sniper!!!!

I agree Sir !! Said very well.

Robert Bernhard , ritbern@verizon.net. I';m 85 years old and spent "quality time" on the South Korean ridgelines in the worst days, and I won't see tthis movie. I don't watch watch any of war movies. t, I'm especially afraid of the supposedly realistic ones and I couldn't care less for the hero propaganda. I don't look at it as heroes but a lot of guys I knew and liked and I don't want to go tjhrough it again. I don't wan to go and touch the names on walls. The Irag and Afghan wars are useless politics and wasted kids for no good purpose. I'm alarmed by Islamic goals but those wars don't help us. Where American Sniper is concerned, I recall we felt like the snipers had a "better" job than the rest of us because nobody was firing at them. I wouldn't call them cowards. Whether I like this American sniper guy or not, I..would always support, him, dead or alive. If I were his son I would be angry as hell that he did all of it for no good purpose, nothing gained or even hoped to be gained. Also, I'd know he had conflicts and did what he wanted to do, he had to do, and I'd ldisagree with him but I'd love him the way he was and say he died as a great man, a man trying to help, a man to be admired.. .

Compelling movie. Showed the mental burden of being in combat. I never had to serve in a combat zone. I felt fortunate that was the case but also somewhat guilty. That is why I am involved in my local American Legion Post 189 as part of our Honor Guard team. Those who do not understand the sacrifice of people such as Chris Kyle are to be pitted. His job was not to kill innocent, nice people. He was eliminating a threat. Warrior against warrior is not a cowardly act. I salute our warriors who volunteer to stand between us and terrorist actions.

I can only imagine what Kyle felt when he looked in his sight and pulled the trigger! It's different in non direct combat positions like field artillery. No sights to look through, only your forward observer is the witness to the kill. I saw the movie and I was shaking through most of the scenes. I felt the emotion of looking down the sights as a young child was removed as a threat.
The emotions carried over to his personal life. You just can't switch channels and block out the death that Kyle and other snipers experienced on a day to day basis. I think Clint Eastwood did his best to accurately portray the range of human emotions in a war movie. Not since "We Were Soldiers" in 2002 have I seen such dramatic scenes of the horrors of war! The taxis pulling up in front of homes delivering telegrams of love ones killed in action. How awful!
God Bless all that have served this nation. You are all my Heroes regardless of what others say and think!

Enough of the discussion of who is a hero and who is a coward. Anyone who serves honorably in the US military and does their job well is a hero. The big mouth chicken hawks who encourage and glorify war and claim to be patriots and the like but don't bother to serve are the cowards. I haven't seen the movie and probably won't. I don't need to. I already know its lessons and I would not enjoy having them reinforced.

I served in the Army 12 years active duty, was lucky, did not see combat even though I was in during Vietnam, but my brother did, agent orange killed him last year. He and I talked a lot, both of us would have done it again, had we had it to do over. I just sent NBC a note in regard to their reporter Ayman Mohyeldin and his calling Chris Kyle a killer and a racist. These people make me sick. I have not seen the movie, it took me years to go the Vietnam Memorial, lost too many friends there. My Father fought in WW II in the South Pacific, the nightmares he had were horrific. These who have not seen the reality of war, and who think they are so righteous, are really just pathetic cowards. I will go to see the movie just not quite yet. My brothers and sisters in arms, are all heroes, they gave of themselves to serve our nation.

May your brother rest in peace and thank you for your service. My dad was in WW II also and no doubt rolled over in his grave on 9/11, which is his birthday. Given our current political/national security situation, he would not be a happy man today. Totally agree with you on Jihad NBC. When leftists can't explain themselves, they always use the race card. Do go see the movie. There's far more to it than just a war.


I find it interesting that the attacks are about the soldier(s) and not about the why and how we got into this war in the first place. The Soldiers, Marines, & Sailors are doing the job "We" as Americans have sent them to do. Especially with so little debate. These men and women are fighting 2 wars short handed and with indecisive leadership.
We should be saluting their sacrifice and call to duty. The rest is nothing but politics.

When I was in the Navy, some 50 years ago, Seals did not talk, let alone brag, about their service.

The word of the day is RESPECT ! I was taught that if you cannot show RESECT to a fellow person then just walk away and keep your remarks to yourself. That shows RESPECT not only to the other person but yourself. As for those who wish to DIS RSPECT a person gets NO RESPECT. Those who have bad mouth The American Sniper have had way to much air time. It is time to show only RESPECT to Mr. Chris Kyle and most of all his WIFE. She is now suffering with a great lost and not to mention their kids. So RESPECT them and if you cannot then don't use the media to share your points. I don't see her DIS RESPECTING you. And then there is the word HERO which some want to take away from Mr. Kyle. There are many ways of becoming a HERO. Chris earn that TITLE not by you Joe civilian but by the peoples lives that he saved. And I do know a litle bit about that word HERO. I have had the distint pleasure of meeing a fellow Marine (yes I am a Viet Nam Marine) at our State VVA Meetings. Everytime I go to this meeting he comes up to me and thanks me for saving his life. You see I was in Huey Helicopters flying Medevacs and this Marine was one of those that we medevac out to the hospital and in rout we got his bleeding stopped and in that saved his life. I in no way concerter myself as a HERO but I bet if you ask this Marine if I am a HERO to him he will answer YES because of mine and others actions on that day. You see not even in this do I take full credit. Now not only dd Mr. Kyle save lives on the battle field but he DIED trying to save another Veteran. In that alone he is a HERO. So just try walking in Mr. Chris Kyles shoes for a short time and see for yourself the reward it is to save a life and then have that person come up to you and say just a few words. Which are "Thank YOU"

Until you serve or have served and fired a weapon, Keep your mouths shut. You don't know what you are talking about.
USAF 1952-1956

People who see service marksmen as coward's, drawing their conclusion not from fact but from they get from gossip.
I am a 100% disabled veteran of the Korean War and while serving my country I learned a lot I learned from my experience as a soldier one fact and foremost is that in the service of our country we are not going to a picnic and I put my feelings { fact in writing} on the bio of my experience as it follows:

This narrative is about the mental stress endured by service men, women and their families as I learned from my duty in the armed forces, which is what I did not previously realized.

Recently, I accepted the invitation, extended to our military personnel to submit their biography, describing experiences encountered while in the service.

*I do not expect nor seek praise and glory, which is due to our valiant en and women, it would not be proper for me to do so, the only pride I derive is from the thought that I deemed it my duty to serve at the time I was needed, and did so, with no regrets.*

We put our lives on hold in exchange for one that literally converted us into targets, and our families along with us share the pride and glory, who from one day to the next lived with the uncertainty of not knowing when and if they hear from the Department of Defense informing them their loved one a husband, son,brother, sister or father would not return because they were killed in the performance of their duties, that is shear martyrdom, it is impossible to fathom the anxiety unless you live through it, as I can remember happening to my mother, but thanks to God, He heard her unceasing prayers she offered on my behalf.

As strange as this may sound I could not help thinking that our enemy, being human endured the same agony our families did, who shared identical fate, which would not have revealed to me had it not beign for basic training to kill someone we did not even know, but with whom we had everything
in common, we were all victims of unscrupulous, greedy individuals using us as cannon fodder to obtain what they want, they (the enemy) are also farmers,accountants, factory workers, struggling to make wnds meet and support their family.

Having said all that I will close with a quote by President Obama when closing his speeches.
"God bless America and God bless you."

Yours for God and Country
Frank P Calderon
P.S. the sentence enclosed in asterisk means;"I do not expect nor seek praise and glory, which is due to our valiant service men and women..." means that their glory and praise is due to them not because war is not a pleasant task to undertake but because they did not dodge it as others have.

We are a great nation that is being destroyed by politics and people that think we should give up our freedom to be subjected to other world ways, this is a country of free speech and when you get a fended from what we say and then you think that we should change to your way of thinking, we are a fended, It's our country LOVE it or LEAVE it. We have just as much right to pray in schools and government buildings, remember you chose to come to America, We didn't force you to come....

I am certainly not of the caliber of Chris Kyle but I served in Vietnam in 1969 as a sniper instructor with the 25th Infantry Division after being trained at the 9th Division. Most of the people against the movie definitely do not know anything about what is necessary for a sniper to do and how they are trained. The seven or ten days of training I received can not be compared with what present day sniper receive and how many wash out. It takes skill intelligence, and intestinal fortitude, the likes of which they have no idea. Hey are only given the right to comment by our constitution. My hat is off to all the armed forces serving today, I am impressed with them and honored to cal them my brothers and sisters.

There is a differance between someone who severed in a combat zone and one who hasn't
There is a saying
"Those Who Have Fought For It, Freedom Has a Tast That the Protecive Will Never Know"

May GOD bless America and those who lost something serving their country

Nothing more needs to be said

I did long range cover fire training before being notified that my stigmatism was just what the Army need in long range sniper and was I "ready". It was a hard lonely job during Viet Nam and I was able to continue on to the engineering corps because I had enlisted and had a guaranteed schooling. I admire those soldiers that gave so much to fight like that. War may be about politics in Washington...but to the soldier, who gives a crap what side of the fence your on when the order is given. We followed the order given.

I haven't seen it yet. I'll wait for a DVD so that I can be in the comfort of home.
I am a Korean War vet from 1950-51. I retired a 1st Sgt. after 30 years with the CA Army National Guard. I am currently receiving 100% disability comp. I'm attending a PTSD support group at the local VA Vet Center. I'm having enough problems of my own without looking for more.

I am acquainted with 2 former snipers. One is a Marine and the other is retired Special Forces. I feel that any person who would willingly undertake that kind of duty in order to serve our country is definitely a hero.

I arrived in Korea on my 20th birthday, 15 Sep 1950. I saw my first fatality about 2 hours later on the train to Tageu (spelling?) A North Korean sniper took out the trooper in the seat in front of me. I hate that SOB but I realize that he performed a service for his country. Snipers are an unfortunate necessity. There is no way that I could have performed that job and I thank God that that was not my MOS.

God Bless Kris Kyle and may God be with his family. They are the victims.

I am an 84 year old retired "Top" and damned proud of my Army and my Country.

To the author of this article in response to your request for info. I am updating my opinion or lack there of as a result of responses to the movie I am getting on other sites. My response to a comment shared with me on line who believed the movie was merely exploiting "emotional content" that was fictional.

I remember reading the book, I don;t remember Kyle deliberating over his shots like they post in the ads, and I remember he did not shoot the kid which I'm told Kyle does shoot the kid in the movie. A this point I am not interested in seeing the movie with the inaccuracies portrayed in the movie to create emotional responses in the audience. I was looking forward to seeing the movie until Hollywood began running those overly emotional ads. The best way to portray a veteran under fire or a Sniper picking a target is that it is a job and you worry about sorting out any "feelings" afterwards, that does not make a person psychopathic anymore than Obama is psychopathic, sorry bad comparison because the latter is a liar and psychopathic and he is a supposed humanitarian pacifist, but Obama enables gun violence and radical Islam and then lets the chips fall where they may with the rest of the anti American crowd.
I had friends on what became known as the "Italian Job", their orders were to maintain over watch on a road block, they were authorized to use lethal force if certain model cars identified as terrorist risks attempted to force the road block. They were also told a car fitting the description of cars commonly used by terrorists would arrive at their position and to let it through and that was about all. Several hours late that car arrived at high speed and the 50 gunner cut loose first to the drivers side of the speeding vehicle and then to the front and finally sent a 50 cal into the engine block. If a 50 is firing at you even at high speed you know it. The vehicle was late and attempted to speed through a road check, they were in a vehicle identified as a potential terrorist operated vehicle, and they paid the price, an Italian body guard was killed the VIP passenger was an Italian "news" reporter, who managed to get herself taken hostage and her government succeeded to secure her release. The soldier on the 50 was cleared by US Military review but the Italians still want to try him for murder.
Winter Soldiers and other "Veteran groups" take soldiers who have a sense of guilt after such an incident and encourage them to make an act of contrition and admission of guilt for committing the sin of war. F them.

Is American Sniper a lame catharsis made of lies, is that you are saying? I hope Kyle's wife gets a ton of dough off the a.h.s who go to see it for the emotional impact but it won;t be my money.

Dear Cmmnder:

P.P.S. It sure is strange how the people harboring these thoughts neglect to mention the fact that during the last few wars our servicemen and women wer tarets of enemy snipers but according to these people it appears they were justified in doing so all these people did was dodge the draft and sat in their easy checkers watching football on T.V. and /or listen to them on radio.

I am a Korean War Vet. To all of you who condemn our snipers or any military person, I suggest you move away from our country and live somewhere else, where what you complain about will, I repeat, WILL get you shot or beheaded for what you say. It is because of us veterans of our military that you people have the right to say what you want, but YOU are the cowards, and have not stepped up to serve our country. I took a oath to "protect and defend the constitution of the USA against all enemies, both foreign and domestic", and I still adhere to that oath today! Don't show up on my doorstep with your rantings and ravings! God Bless America!

Thank you for your service to this great country. My husband also, like you, WAS a Korean War Vet./purple heart. I do understand and agree with you. God bless all men and women who serve USA.

I am a Korean War Vet. To all of you who condemn our snipers or any military person, I suggest you move away from our country and live somewhere else, where what you complain about will, I repeat, WILL get you shot or beheaded for what you say. It is because of us veterans of our military that you people have the right to say what you want, but YOU are the cowards, and have not stepped up to serve our country. I took a oath to "protect and defend the constitution of the USA against all enemies, both foreign and domestic", and I still adhere to that oath today! Don't show up on my doorstep with your rantings and ravings! God Bless America!

Well stated Mr. Pickul, I wonder if these people have heard the old Indian saying:" Don't judge a man until you walk a mile on his moccasins." I suggest they read,learn, and stick with it it is good advice.

As a veteran that took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the US and was also used as a pawn in Panama during the secret CIA Iran/Contra affair and war, helping to pick up the pieces of 27 fellow airman killed in Central America while there, I appreciate Chris Kyle's service to our country. It is tainted though by the untruths that he told about fighting with Ventura (where a jury awarded Ventura 1.8 million dollars because of Kyle's lie) and killing looters during Katrina and two carjackers in Texas where no one can find evidence of these events ever taking place. During later interviews, Chris Kyle confirmed that Jesse Ventura was “Scruff Face.”
Lying does not show the characteristics of a noble man. Kyle did his job as a sniper, and did it well as ordered. He does not meet the criteria for the Medal of Honor. Sorry for his families loss by a deranged human being. And sorry for the loss of thousands of others in the unconstitutional wars based on lies. It is a noble person that can understand truth in conflict and to serve their country in an honorable way. All service members are Hero's when they stand honorably. I'm sure the movie is a powerful piece but remember Hollywood takes liberties too even when based on truths.

To my american brothers and sisters:
I wonder if americans that villify our soldiers as being cowardly snipers have any relatives and or friends who are in the armed forces who may someday, during their tour of duty be called upon to serve as snipers out of neccessity, if these thoughtless people who are ever ready to serve as snipers, if they will be villified as the others who out of extreme neccessity must take this task under orders to do so.

I intend to make something to these thoughtless individuals something very important, we here are not in a picnic enjoying the job we are called upon to do, and I would suggest to these individuals who jump the gun as they say and villify our servicemen in such ungrateful matter to take it upon themselves, to instead of villifying these valiant men ask God to spare humanity from another debacle, which will compel us to perform such distasteful duty.
It would be more humanitarian to ask God's mercy because no one is guaranteed that it could not happen to us in our own country.

So if you have family and/ or close friends you best give that a second thought because you never know what may be in store for us in the future, we arre not exempt from any thing like that God forbid it but anything is possible with the tremendous technological strides and with the proiliferation of atomic and or nuclear power throughtout the world or can you guarantee we may not face the wrath of God in the future?

Yours for God and Country
Frank P. Calderon


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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.