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American Sniper packs powerful message
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Forsyth County News

We rarely go to movies. It’s not just that they cost a small fortune either.

The food is not good and also is ridiculously priced. Sometimes there are people who are loud, text on their phones or kick the back of your seat.

Too often, the movie isn’t good, so you not only feel you’ve wasted money, but your time.

It should be noted, however, that we do love movies. We just prefer to see them from the comforts of our home, where the food is yummy and the pause button is always an option.

That said, we recently went to see “American Sniper” starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood.

I really didn’t want to go, being content to wait for the movie to come out for viewing at home. But our oldest son, who is in the Army, highly recommended it.

So off we went in the middle of the week to a 2 p.m. showing. I was surprised at how many people were there. And once I saw the movie, I knew why.

Based on the true story and war time experiences of legendary Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle, the movie is incredibly realistic and completely delivers on all fronts.

From the first few moments, viewers are drawn into Kyle’s reasons for joining the military (patriotism), his humble and religious upbringing in Texas, finding the love of his life, and then deployment right after the events of 9/11.

Kyle had a decade long career in the military and served four tours of duty during the Iraq War. As a sniper who became known as “Legend,” he made 160 confirmed kills. By doing so, he saved the lives of numerous American soldiers.

When asked about his job, he often said he only wished he could have saved more lives of the American military.

I have seen numerous war-type movies, from “Platoon” to “Saving Private Ryan.” Many were spectacular and featured horrific depictions of war. Too often, those scenes were so realistic I had to close my eyes.

“American Sniper” has its share of horrific scenes, and certainly is not a movie for everybody.

But if you have never personally known a brave military member, or perhaps have wondered about what so many of our soldiers go through and how war affects not only them but their families, you simply must see this film.

Eastwood is a brilliant director, lures viewers in immediately and holds your interest for the entire film.

I knew of Chris Kyle and saw him interviewed on television several times about his book “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. History.”

Co-written with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice, the best seller came out in January 2012, several years after Kyle was honorably discharged from the Navy.

Like so many other veterans, Kyle had difficulties dealing with the aftermath of war. One way he chose to cope was to help others.

How tragic then that he was trying to do just that with friend Chad Littlefield when the veteran they were trying to help killed both men on Feb. 2, 3013.

Kyle’s memorial service was held at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Thousands of people wanted to pay their respects to this true American hero who left behind his wife, Taya, and two young children.

Of course, soon after “American Sniper” was shown in theaters, the typical Hollywood crazies had to come out and criticize Kyle and our military. Some had not even seen the movie before they spewed their hate.

I was shocked the movie was nominated for Best Picture and Bradley Cooper received a nomination for Best Actor for the Academy Awards. The academy usually ignores anything “too American” or certainly something that honors or portrays our military in a positive light.

General Sherman said “War is hell,” and that is certainly true. We should all pray for peace, but should also thank God for the brave men and women who risk their lives so we can enjoy our freedoms.

Please consider seeing this important movie and let me know your thoughts.

 

Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at contact@adlenrobinson.com.