American Sniper (the book)
I started reading this book back before Chris Kyle was killed. I saw him in two instances on TV – in the reality show Stars Earn Stripes as Dean Kane’s partner, and on Sons of Guns. Just seeing this guy makes you want to know more about him. They talked about his great accomplishments and service to our country but he seemed like a normal guy; very grounded and level headed. I just wanted to know more – how did he, after all that he saw and did, stay so grounded and level headed. I only later found out that he was a father and husband. He has such a great American story. So I bought the book.
I had started the book and not long after that, he was killed. For some reason, even though I did not know the guy, it hit me pretty hard. Not in a man-crush or weird way but in a way that shook my American honor.
I was about two-thirds through the book (yes, it took me a while) when the movie came out. I tried to finish it before I went and saw it, but I was unsuccessful in that effort. As ti turned out, I did not have to. The movie was nothing like the book. The movie was a little more structured and had more of a plot. Rather than a seemingly random set of events throughout his service, the movie formulated elements of the book into a more structured plot. Some of the events were different between the book and the movie, but both are great stories in their own way.
This book is an every-man’s book, written by a guy that tells it like it is and keeps it simple. He is the guy that he comes across as. But he has seen his struggles and his book really helps you understand him and others who serve. It less about the experiences and more about a man who grew loyal to the Seals into a better man and father to his family. I had a lot of respect for those who serve before I read this book and did not think I could have more. This book gifted me with that extra respect.