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on November 29, 2016
After reading American Wife I felt that I needed to read American Sniper. The two together represent quite well both the feelings of patriotism as a member of the military as well as being a spouse to a member of the military. Though I I never went to battle I did experience both. Even those who don't go to battle as well as their spouses are trained and ready at any time Togo to war. Separations whether at war or not are never easy and after each separation both have become slightly different people through the experience. As was stated in both books, many couples don't end up make it a lasting relationship. Through often no fault of their own couples grow in different ways and often not in the same direction. As an ombudsmen for one of my spouse's boats I witnessed this with a number of other couples and eventually in my own family.
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on August 30, 2015
I had intended to read this book and see the film but was immediately moved to do so after listening to an interview with the screenwriter on The Rich Roll podcast. The intro to the book states that it was submitted for review to the military prior to publication in accordance with their standards and that there was quite a bit that they didn't like. What that tells you is that this is a pretty raw account of serving as a dedicated Navy SEAL sniper. It is not an overly romanticized tale of a hero or a legend as Chris Kyle has come to be known. He definitely expresses his 100% dedication to his SEAL profession and in that regard is probably a Navy recruiters dream poster boy but he also shares the toll that a decade of commitment took on him physically, emotionally and in regards to his family. He really seems to have put it all out on the table. A great addition to the book are brief submissions from his wife on how this life was affecting their relationship and children. Without her contribution it would have been easy to view this story with a neat and clean arc of enthusiasm and excitement to action to a slightly rough but ultimately successful re-entry to civilian life. Instead we get a real sense of the fact that coming home entails much more than merely adjusting to indoor plumbing and quiet nights. This is a very complete view into the challenges this type of commitment ultimately entails for the individuals as well as their families.

It is heart breaking to discover what ultimately claimed him after all that he and his family went thru. We can only hope that his story serves to shine a bright light on the issues surrounding combat veterans and that we are all much more conscious of the many sacrifices of the brave that serve us. I highly recommend his wife's book, American Wife, to get the full picture.

RIP Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield
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on March 19, 2015
Really great book – I have a couple points, but first I served in Iraq in 08-09 as a gunner as a member of a combat MP team; being said, I have the utmost respect for snipers because of their overwatch capabilities. I mean, they all deserve a high five for keeping us ground pounders save over there. As for the book, I like it because Kyle writes in spoken word, not a verbage packed authoring kinda thing. He writes and talks like a SEAL. It’s well written, I enjoyed the tidbits form Taya – reminds me of when I describe my deployment and then my wife cuts in too. Very genuine book. As a soldier, I gotta pick on other branches as a requirement. Kyle calls SEALs silent professionals, I understand what he’s saying, but he can get kinda obnoxious and narsasstic sometimes, im not giggin’ the guy though, he’s a friggin’ SEAL, a horse of another color and im sure if I went through BUD/S and came out the other end, I’d be a cocky bad-a%% too! Anyway, God bless Kyle and his family, rest in peace brother, you earned eternity of it in heaven – thanks for you and all your brethren who watched our six, even when we didn’t know you guys were there.
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on February 10, 2015
It took me a while to get over his cockiness.What he was saying was true but came across wrong for me.It was a good story about a great American.He loved his wife and kids and whole family and he loved his country .He seemed to truly believe that everything he did was to help his fellow American military men.I saw the movie after I read the book and feel Eastwood and Cooper did great jobs of portraying the emotions of a very dedicated man ,who was embedded heart and soul in his missions and his family.The movie got me to go back and re=read some of the parts of the book that kind of slid by by the first time through.That gave me more insight and appreciation for his motives and methods.
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on June 7, 2016
Yes, I know that most of the numbers have been said to be wildly exaggerated. And yes, I've heard all the angles on how this was a piece of propaganda secretly designed as a recruitment tool. I'd heard all of that before reading the book and still loved it. Even if only 25% of this book is true, he's still 100% more of a bad*** than most of the men in this country. It's refreshing to read a book that isn't written to the soft-spoken, skinny jeans wearing, safe-space retreating hyper-feminine men that seem to be all you see through the media eye. The dude was a soldier, period, and soldiers represent one of the last pockets of self-sacrificing bravery in our culture (both men and women). This book represents the horror of war, the dedication of our military, the courageous families they leave behind, and the ignorance of anyone that threatens our way of life in America.
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on February 21, 2015
As I write this review, Kyle's story has made cinemagraphic history. According to some movie reviewers, it is the most popular war film ever produced. Having seen the movie and read the book, I concur that the movie accurately portrays the man and his mission. Possibly had Kyle lived to see how his story worked out (his life was taken by a possibly-deranged former soldier even as he was trying to help him overcome his mental problems), he would have just shrugged and said something like "That's how it goes." The autobiography reveals an unassuming Texan who grew up with good but simple values, was a rodeo rider for a time, and came from a family of hunters and outdoorsmen. His style of writing (with the assistance of a ghost writer) reminds me of Gary Cooper's portrayal in film of Sgt. York in World War I. Both were crack shots and both saw the killing of other men as necessary to saving the lives of America's soldiers. Kyle describes his training in the SEALs, and declares he was never the best shot in the outfit. Indeed, he makes clear all the things that go into the making of a good sniper, much of it having to do with a knowledge of maneuver, patience, and what might be called "the buddy system." His language will seem raw to some, but life among foot-soldiers is harsh, hardening, and even requires a peculiar sense of humor. As for Kyle's devotion to his wife and family, it is stated simply and believably. That he should die trying to save another soldier fits in with his values and beliefs. He is to the twenty-first century what Sgt. York was to the twentieth.
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on March 2, 2015
I enjoyed the story. One helluva hero. The writing was very elementary. That was a distraction. Just a shade above a grade schooler's essay on how I spent my summer vacation.
A case could almost be built that Chris Kyle had a killing addiction. But he put it to good use supporting our military guys on the ground.
And then we have the Academy Awards Ceremony, the height of hypocrisy, where the snoty, snooty self centered snobs of Hollywood stand and aggrandize themselves and others in their business. Where they make mega millions playing fake and fictional heroes that can dispatch a dozen armed thugs with or with out a weapon. They then stand up there and spew out their liberal clap trap about anti-war and anti-gun rhetoric and don't take the time to pay tribute to a real hero, Chris Kyle, that single handedly saved hundreds and even thousands of American GIs and Marines in his four deployments over in the Middle East.
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on October 30, 2015
It was a great book telling a great story that every American should hear. I got the book after seeing the movie, to see what else I could learn about this hero. The book doesn't offer a lot more than is in the movie, but it is written is Chris' words and the words of his wife Taya, so it comes straight from the source. He tells more between the lines than he actually says, I'd say because so much of his work was classified. He offers a glimpse though into a life of a SEAL which I found intriguing and exciting. He holds nothing back when talking about his distaste for how some things are handled by our military. Chris will always be remembered by me as a hero of America, a patriot to the end, and a decent writer as well. Having his wife also lend quotes to the book really brings home just how hard it is to lead a double life and keep it all together, and you'll find Chris had a hard time with that just as many other soldiers do. You'll have to read it to see how it turns out for him.
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on April 3, 2017
Book is a pretty detailed version of Kyle's experiences in Iraq, and it's a good read. Movie is more of a summary of Kyle's 4 tours in Iraq, and adds a lot of embellishments and untruths into the Kyle story (Hollywood does this for more dramatic effects). That being said, the book received a lot of criticisms about Kyle making up a lot of stories to turn himself into more of a "Legend" than he really was. Such criticisms included Kyle taking out Looters in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina; this was not discussed in this book. Neither was the criticism of the alleged Jesse Ventura episode, where Kyle supposedly punched the former governor in the face. None of this was discussed in this book or at least the version I read. Maybe the publishers took those stories out in this version due to the criticisms and the subsequent defamation lawsuit filed by Ventura. I don't know. Anyway, this book is a good read, and, in my opinion, a better depiction of Kyle than the Eastwood movie version.
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on January 25, 2015
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell may or may not have actually written those words, but the sentiment is widely held, as evidenced by the interest in Chris Kyle's life, as well as the lives of other rough men like fellow SEAL Marcus Luttrell. The late Major Richard Winter, he of Easy Company's Band of Brothers, notes in his book that he recognized several "killers" in his unit. Men who seemed utterly fearless and willing to do what was necessary to kill the enemy. Thank goodness that Chris Kyle used his abilities to save the lives of his fellow troops, because he was born with the ability to inflict massive damage when he chose to.
Although the book is an "as-told-to" autobiography, an authentic voice emerges. A complicated man, full of passion, energy, love and violence, sometimes in equal proportions. I read the book after viewing the recently released film about Kyle. In death, controversy swirls around him. As he points out, he didn't make the decision to go to war in Iraq, but once there he wished that the politicians and pundits would not interfere with the way he chose to perform his mission. Amen to that.
The undistinguished ex-governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, succeeded in convincing a panel of low information jurors that he was somehow defamed when Kyle alluded to an incident in which the burly and ignorant retired wrestler was allegedly knocked on his fanny by Kyle in a Coronado bar. Ventura was lampooned in a comic novel by fellow Minnesotan Garrison Keillor, who created a character named Big Boy Valente obviously based on Ventura. To my knowledge, he didn't attempt to secure any damages, probably because he would have been more embarrassed by increased attention to the book. Ventura, who has falsely claimed for years that he was a SEAL, no doubt felt his macho credibility was threatened by the smackdown, and saw an easy way to parlay his misery into a few extra dollars. Since his political gig he has managed to keep conning unsuspecting audiences with a potpourri of far out conspiracy theories, but no doubt he needs to keep paying for his lifestyle somehow, since the last thing he'd ever do is work for a living. Parasitically siphoning earnings from Kyle's widow and children seems right up his alley. If a few pennies of the purchase price end up in his pocket, I hope he chokes on his toast.
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