Posted by: suek2001 | February 2, 2015

Sometimes you hear the bullet…

I just saw American Sniper….the controversial movie that is raking in lots of money.

I’m not normally into movies about war as the violence and the geo-political discussions fly right by me…

I rarely see movies in a theatre anymore because I love the intimacy of watching them in my home..pausing the movie for reflection..or to yell at the screen..or to put on closed-captioning…

I made an exception for this movie..Clint Eastwood is a fantastic director that has had a few duds lately..namely Jersey Boys…but this one, hit it out of the park…

I went into it caryying all the criticism and praise of others…and that was a mistake..I realized we all bring our own viewpooints to a movie..and if it shares our viewpoint then it’s a winner..if it doesn’t, then it’s from that place called Hollyweird…

For me, this was a moving portrait of a man that did his job..several times…in battle..protected his buddies in battle..and came home and tried to figure out where to go from there…

Several thoughts crossed my mind while seeing this…how many times do men and women in suits in nice offices make choices for men and  women to go out in fatigues and play in one giant sandbox of confusion…

Orders are given..directions are followed…and the oath of God and country is given…and taken seriously…and then comes the world that most civilians will never know..and on some level, Hollywood will never know….

The culture of boot camp…the mentality of battle..the drive for victory..and the settlement of survival…

I will never know that for I know that I am not made for battle…I may not make the right choices between life and death..and each soldier has to make that choice..orders or not…

Chris Kyle was called a hero..and he was the deadliest sniper in US military history..or so the story goes…Here,  he’s a guy who is driven by the 9/11 attacks to defend his country…and then is sent on endless tours to Iraq….

Eastwood’s direction is superb..it is neither a pro-war movie..or a litany of reasons why war is hell..it is just a story of a man that did his job..came home and found his way emotionally back to his family…

One of the things that I took away from this is that as Americans, we have gotten a bit better at how we treat our troops….We spit and cursed them when they came home from Vietnam…We welcome them and thank them now…but we don’t really pay attention to them after the echoes of battle are silenced…

In “Sniper”, Chris is confronted and told that he should continue to make a difference with the wounded warriors at home…and he does…and then dies at the hands of a vet that had his own issues to deal with…

PTSD is the clinical way of describing what these troops have gone through….George Carlin had a great routine about how we’ve devalued the hell these men have gone through by changing the wording of the diagnosis to something that can be found in a medical dictionary and not what it really is..a ravaging of the soul and mind..

Our Veteran’s Affair’s department took a beating this year, when it was revealed what lousy care some hospitals give..and the stories I hear of Vets having to jump through hoops just for test results is a familliar one..

So, when all the hoopla has died down from “American Sniper”, I do hope that people will remember Chris Kyle..and the battles he went through..both here and abroad…and that all our vets are still going through that…and they need more than a hug…more than a thank you…..they need a lifetime of love and support to make up for the years of death and destruction they witnessed…

..and may we never fight again…..

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