Life of Honor

american sniperAmerican Sniper, an inspiring story of bravery and sacrifice, tells of the life of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in the US military. Chris wrote an autobiography and recently the movie was released detailing his encounters and inspiring the nation. Although it was nominated for six Academy Awards, this past February the acclaimed movie went home with only one.

Throughout his career, the dedicated SEAL struggles with time away from his family and adapting to regular life once he returns from Iraq. Once Chris retired, he helped cope with his post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by volunteering his time to help counsel injured members of the United States Army.

I have never experienced the kind of reaction that occurred after the closing credits ended of American Sniper. No one said a word, as they exited the theater; it was completely silence. The reverence and respect for the movie and the life of Chris Kyle was very evident as people wiped away tears and silently walked out of the building. The autobiography gave a first hand and very real account the struggles that the military men and women and their families encounter.

Chris grew up in Texas and was taught by his father how to shoot deer. After pursuing a career in rodeo which ended due to an arm injury, Chris decided to enlist in the Army. He was rejected due to the pins in his arm and had to see an army recruiter to finally be placed in Special Forces Seal Team 3 where he served four tours and numerous battles in the Iraq war after 9/11.

In the battlefield Chris, as the sniper of his team, had the backs of every man, protecting them from enemy fire they could not see coming. Chris rightfully earned the nickname “Legend” for his incredible skills. He sacrificed his spot on the roof tops to go on the ground with his men as they entered dangerous and life threatening buildings. He received two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and numerous other unit and personal awards.

Returning to life as a civilian was very difficult due to the impact of people in combat has no the brain, but Chris took his struggles and used them to help others. He took injured members of the military out shooting and talked to them about their problems. On one particular mission, he took a man dealing with severe PTSD out to a shooting range in Texas. Inexplicably and tragically, that man killed Chris and his friend Chad Littlefield.

Eddie Routh, the man who killed Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, was recently convicted of first degree murder after a 9 day trial and 2 hour jury decision. He has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. With the recent attention through the movie American Sniper, not only the families of the deceased heroes but also the country as a whole gained a sense of closure and justice from the completion of this case.

This story of Chris Kyle and his sacrifice and bravery for his country, family, and friends is one that will never be forgotten. It teaches of an amazing man who overcame troubles to create a better good, a feat we should all strive to achieve.