American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Chris Kyle. Chris Kyle is known for being America’s deadliest sniper with the most confirmed kills in US military history. Some know him from serving as a US SEAL, others from reality television, some from Craft International and some from his book. Chris Kyle passed away earlier this year and I had the privileged of watching his funeral procession move from Midlothian to Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, it’s only taken me this long to read his book.
The title pretty much sums up the book. Chris Kyle served ten years in the US military, including four combat tours in Operation Iraqi freedom. It touches upon Chris Kyle’s upbringing, how he joined the SEALs, religion, family life, friendships and military life. His wife, Taya, has written inserts that address her point of view during certain situations and helps to provide an insight on what it’s like to be married to a SEAL.
Before I go any further, I’m just going to tell you that everyone should read this book. Everyone. It’s astonishing. It’s moving and inspirational. Most of all, it’s raw. It will grip your emotions and (hopefully) make you realize (even more than we all should already realize) how precious this life is. Furthermore, in hindsight, listening to what this man has been though, his losses, what he witnessed, what and who he fought for, made me hunker down. It also talks about when he left the military service to start Craft International.
At one point in the book, Chris Kyle was talking about one of his fellow SEALs who had died overseas. Chris Kyle happened to be in the States when his body was brought home and met him at the airport to carry his body from the plane to the awaiting hearse. He wrote the following passage:
“People nearby who realized what was going on stopped and stared silently, paying their respects. It was touching; they were honoring a fellow countryman even though they didn’t know him. I was moved at the sight, a last honor for our fallen comrade, a silent recognition of the importance of his sacrifice.” (Page 309)
As previously mentioned, earlier this year I attended his funeral procession. They say over 7,000 people lined the road from Midlothian to Austin to pay their respects. There are no words to describe the experience. As I read the passage, I could only remember my experience on the side of the highway that dreary, rain-filled morning. How many others have lost their lives or sacrificed a part of their lives for their country? Are we paying them enough respect everyday.
This book will make you laugh, smile, it may make you angry, heck, you may even shed a tear but it’s definitely one that I will say you should never pass up on the shelf.