Book Reviews

American Sniper: A Military Memoir of the Most Lethal Sniper in American History

 

        When Chris Kyle enlisted in the military to become a Navy Seal, the aspiration of becoming the most lethal sniper in American history never crossed his mind. How could it? His name has become a household word and his inspirational story is always in circulation. There is little doubt that this warrior has left his legacy on the pride of the American Military Tradition and they will continue to acquire new recruits as they should (along with his other colleagues that he served and trained and befriended) as a result of their merits and performance. Despite his highly polished skills he demonstrated in the battle-zones during his deployments, Chris Kyle preserved his ‘Texas’ features when in public and visiting and conversing with his many admirers. He seemed a simple man that was obsessed with God, Country and Family. Every American needs to familiarize himself with this uniquely crafted story of bravery, sacrifice and obligation. Mr. Kyle is a refreshing character in the genre of Nonfiction and Military History. His story is of oneness with the heart and soul of every man who is plagued with uncertainty and mismatched destinies.

        Chris is a man who is exploring his options. While working as a helper on ranches across the state of Texas, he wrestles with his destiny. His life long obsession with joining the military is haunting him; he must come to terms with what is offered and what is expected of his purpose. After a few setbacks in his personal life, he regains the ground he has lost. After carefully considering a few options from other military suggestions, he decides to join the United States Navy to become a S.E.A.L. Upon his entry into BUDS Training, his limitations are exposed in the most gruesome manner imaginable; it will take everything he possesses inside to complete one of the most challenging platforms of military training in existence. After graduation, Chris gets deployed to Iraq and experiences the horror and inhumanity of combat and war. Seeing first hand the destruction of a city and country, Chris comes to grips with what an arid and violent environment is like. Witnessing soldiers die and not being able to have prevented many of these instances, sculpts a deep wound that his soul laments over until his first deployment concludes. The harrowing and life threatening experiences of combat shape his destiny even further than his expectations would approve of. The mission of the war becomes personal for him. He goes to Sniper School to become a more ‘proficient’ soldier that can be utilized for every conceivable purpose that the military can use him for.

        It is here that the book commences on ascending to the merits and character of the U.S. Military. Chris begins yet another grueling campaign of intense training and acquisition of soldier skills that will transform into the ultimate warrior; like BUDS, Sniper School will push Chris Kyle to the limits of his thinking; however, it is this transformation that will abolish his self-doubt and questionable destiny. When he returns for another deployment, he is now a deadly sniper; he is a man with a thunderous mission that will change the course of his humanity; he will also be put to the test as a husband and father, and there is little method involved for him in planning it. The positivity and warmth that Chris is known for will be darkened by the skies of war and sacrifice. The devoted husband and father will be pushed to the brink of collapse. While this book focuses on many of the achievements of Chris’s deployment and outstanding service to his country, Chris, with astonishing and shameless honesty, exposing his shortcomings of being an affectionate father and husband. The war and his numerous deployments are taking their toll on himself as well as his family life back home. When he does come home on leave, he finds himself disconnected from the civilian population and disenchanted with American Political Opinion. Family life and being a husband is increasingly difficult for him to adjust with. His wife, Taya, also presents her position on the marriage and raising of children. She discusses, in interesting detail, her hopes, fears, anxieties, and even uncertainties including her husband’s fate in such a hostile environment that is so far from her heart.

        As the book progresses, so does Chris Kyle’s perceptions and confessions of the horrors of war. The brutality and living conditions of being in combat is extensive on the human psyche. While he is racking up kills and inheriting a reputation as a fearless sniper warrior, he struggles with missing his family and friends on the home front. Chris Kyle provides us with a horrifying glimpse of the rebels and insurgents he is fighting; he paints us a bloody canvas of the cost of humanity becoming inhuman, even if they are only in increments. As his destiny climaxes, so does his eternal desire to become human again, to return to his humble beginnings as a handyman; but his undying love for his country encapsulates all of his resources to seriously consider anything else; the destiny outweighs the perseverance of anything in front of him. He must complete his mission of a warrior. But Chris teaches us the most important lesson of all: that all things end.

        The book is a warm and personal observance by a person so highly trained in the terrors of combat operations, that one can possibly think that he has no compassion or feeling for his fellow man; this is not the case. Turning back and forth on his recollections and experiences, Chris Kyle provides us with a 360 degree view of all the chaos and victory he absorbed. Even during his most horrifying confessions of war experiences, Chris is able to jape us into thinking that there were episodes that he felt no fear or control over his senses. It is definitely confessed candidly in many instances throughout the pages. The geographical paradigms and the long distance heartache of being away from his wife and children are swollen with his anecdotes of his fellow soldiers and civilians he converses with. It is slowly through this meticulous process, Chris finds himself to be human again; the warrior side of him begins, slowly, to disintegrate, but his patriotic spirit of country is never placed in question. As the stakes for his destiny are sharpened by his own charismatic skill, he is left, like most warriors, with important choices that need his attention. Will he seek the fullness of an elite warrior, or will he brave the mazes of being husband and father. The recurring and most effective theme of this autobiography is choice; and Chris is replete with many of them. In a way that is equal to the same choices of truncating his desire for his family back home and his brothers on the field, he is forced to compromise. After some frightening skirmishes in the field, Chris has experienced the necessary wake-up call that will reveal to him is long awaited answer. He must leave the military and concentrate on his family.

        After four deployments, he finally leaves the navy and returns home; but he will still face more difficult choices ahead. But, he will have the beautiful faces that he has so severely missed as a result of his time served to our country. A wonderful and welcoming transfiguration will replace his devotion to the battlefield in exchange for the laughter and conviviality of his wife and children. This will be the most cutting and executional plan he implements ever.

        American Sniper has much more to teach us than just about war and death. It is also a book of an imperfect situation that will accrue a perfect ending. This is an energetic observation of a couple’s struggle to overcome the most bitterest and inconceivable circumstances that will pronounce victory in a neoteric and embroidered sound that has never been annunciated by acoustics before. It is the struggle of two warriors who compromise their destinies to sacrifice and advance their representation of a prosperous and conjoined life. The book conveys its ending to the reader by having Chris start a fresh and new life as a noncombatant and his continuing involvement by helping his fellow vets adjust to civilian life and Taya, his wife, will reclaim her husband as her own. The walk towards their joined destinies will encapsulate the reader into harmonizing and reflecting on the teachings of a couple who sacrificed more for their country than those who ever even dared to think they could. The reward is the eternal devotion that never quits. Neither ever could.

 

(You can purchase the book here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/american-sniper/id482842147?mt=11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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