AMERICAN SNIPER

Sheep Dogs vs. Wolves
by Bill Hamm 1-30-15
 

Chris Kyle, as a young boy is hunting with his father.  His father tells him that there are three kinds of people in the world, the sheep, the sheep dogs, and the wolves.  He explains that the purpose of the sheep dogs is to protect the sheep from the wolves.  This "purpose" will motivate Chis Kyle throughout his life.

The movie then shows Chris joining the navy and becoming a seal.  You get a real taste of what seal training is all about.  At this time, Chris also meets the woman who will become his wife.  

You see Chris in his first tour of duty having to decide whether he can take his first shot.  It is difficult, but he makes the call.  His wife wants him home to be with her and their children, but he feels a duty to continue to serve and protect his fellow soldiers.  

Movie goers see what Chris saw, including atrocities committed by the terrorists against other Iraqis.  It especially bothers Chris, because he's in sheep dog mode. You also see the tough moral decisions he has to make and how he grapples with those decisions.

In the movie, you're reminded that there are snipers on both sides in war, and that each side has their own Chris, who has become America's most deadly sniper.

Eventually, after four tours, Chris's wife convinces him to come home.  He finds another sheep dog path, helping warriors recover from the horrors of war.  Unfortunately, Chris is killed trying to help another veteran.

I give the movie 5 stars.

There are a lot of recent war movies out there, but I think that a number of things have made this one strike a special cord with movie goers.

It shows why our youth are willing to put their lives on the line for this country.

It shows that Americans, even during the horror of war, struggle to defend innocent civilians against atrocities.

And it personalizes the PTSD that afflicts many of our servicemen and women.

It is unfortunate that some people have made ignorant statements about snipers shooting innocents in the back.  Whether a soldier is a sniper, infantryman, or serving in some other role, when an enemy is carrying a deadly weapon that they can use on you and/or your teammates, you can't play nice.  Sometimes the enemy faces you.  Sometimes their backs are to you as they're moving to another position. There's no time out in a war zone.  
For America to not use sniper assets, while our enemies use theirs, would be the same as not protecting our people - on and off the battlefield.

If a sheep doesn't like the sheep dogs protecting him, maybe it's because he's never had a close encounter with a wolf.