March 6, 2013 by Will Ray
There is a quote that floats around from time to time, and whether or not George Orwell wrote it, the truth of it stands. It came to mind as I read the book American Sniper:
“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was the most lethal sniper in American history. The most effective of any time, ever. He was tragically gunned down last month in what appeared to be a random shooting – not while deployed to Afghanistan, but just south of Austin, Texas.
After hearing about his death and being fascinated by his accomplishments, I turned to look up his book, American Sniper, and there it was at #1 in the iBooks bookstore.
I have come to really enjoy biographies and autobiographies – especially autobiographies that include the individual’s personal take on events.
I found American Sniper to be an absolutely fascinating read. With my interest in biographies, and a particular interest in war/conflict history, this was right up my alley. Throw in a ton of good first person action, and you’ve got a great read.
Fair warning: this book came with the requisite off-color humor and adult language you would probably expect from the most hardened warrior in a battle zone.
I was thankful for the “inside” (though certainly limited) view of the Iraq war, which helped me understand how things really were in some of those conflict cities. What do you mean? We had plenty of media coverage of Iraq. If you believe all you heard from the media about Iraq, please let me sell you some of my waterfront property in Arizona.
Ultimately, I was extremely proud, thankful, and honored that we have men like this that stand and fight for us day after day, year after year, setting aside an “easy” civilian life, by comparison. The honor I felt for this man and the many like him only served to magnify the tragedy and irony of his recent death. But if you saw some of the recent pictures and coverage of his memorial service, you know his life was honored well by those who cared.