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Published:January 15th, 2015 13:43 EST
Reading Chris Kyle`s Autobiography, 'American Sniper,' a Requirement Before the Movie Tomorrow!

Reading Chris Kyle`s Autobiography, 'American Sniper,' a Requirement Before the Movie Tomorrow!

By John G. Kays

I`m on page 143 of American Sniper (Harper), by Chris Kyle; the movie hits the theaters tomorrow, so it`s a race against time for me! I have the cheaper edition of Navy Seal, Chris Kyle`s stirring autobiography, which I picked up impulsively, at the Sunset Valley Barnes and Nobles; this smaller paperback was $9.99, while the fancier version ran about $16.00. 

The text and photo section are exactly the same, I heard from the B & N clerk. I wish I could finish reading the book before I see the movie, but I realize now, that probably`s not going to happen! Perhaps I can get half-way through it, which would mean I`ll need to read about 90 more pages before the weekend. This is not a book review yet, but rather a confession of sorts, letting you know what I`m up to. 

One good reason for finishing up my reading, before ducking into a dark movie theater, is, I hear, Clint Eastwood meanders into fictional territory a bit, and fails to give a literal rendering of Chris Kyle`s life and career as a sniper in Iraq. Well, in good time, you can be assured, all of us will break this down, and recognize where the story gets off the tracks, or where it`s on target; this is, obviously, a major Hollywood production, not an accurate documentary on this outstanding Texan War Hero`s 38 years on planet earth!

No, I`m reading slowly, since I desire nothing less than 100% retention of his narrative; this understanding, I now realize, will probably require some study or review of the War in Iraq. I`ve noticed, a lot of it is coming back to me, but still, I like to get into all the day by day detail, if I can, just as I did when we were literally living through it. The reason why this is required, is to get into Kyle`s mindset, what made him tick, as he functioned so bravely through the drudgery of some of the major campaigns of the war, such as Ramadi or Fallujah.

As you know, the official kill count is around 160, but the real number is like twice (which would be 320) that much. 320 people picked off with a sniper`s rifle! I needed to type it out before I could hardly believe it, or comprehend it (it still`s giving me trouble). Was Chris really a monster? One has to at least give this notion some consideration; I don`t think this is true, however, I believe he was very gifted at rationalizing what he did. He was as good at rationalizing as he was a at sniper operations, performed for our country, you might say!

If you`re interested, you may want to read a really great article (The Legend of Chris Kyle, by Michael J. Mooney) published by D Magazine, not so long after Chris Kyle`s death (April 2013). There is a lot of information in this article you won`t find in his book, such as the story of Chris eliminating two robbers at a gas station on Highway 67, south of Dallas (January of 2010), so I advise you to read it (I`ll link it here). I wonder whether any writer or journalist has been able to dig up some proof for this Tall Texas Tale, where Kyle had the gumption to out gun a couple of rotten locals (although they were bad guys, they were Americans).

I`m not so sure I believe it, since, so far as I know, no record of the double shooting incident can be found. As far as Kyle`s business dealings after leaving the service goes, this is interesting information to me also; I`ll make a point of researching the last part of his career a little further. And then, don`t forget, his death hasn`t been fully explained either! Was Eddie Ray Routh simply totally insane, or did he have a hidden, more reasonable motive for doing what he did? 

Some accounts I`ve read, made it look like simple robbery of Chris`s truck; that`s too easy for me. Must be more to it than that! I need to stay objective and cautious, as I review this nearly unbelievable story of the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history; I didn`t support the War In Iraq, just like I was opposed to the Vietnam War, as I was growing up. Nor do I like or approve of firearms, and know practically nothing about them. 

This is why I`m so cautious as I approach this topic, or as I study this man, I should say. I know it will be hard for me to see him as a hero, but I can at least attempt to put the facts of his life together correctly, with an eye for accuracy (some judgements may seep through anyhow). My goal is to get a better picture of what happened to us during the Bush years, for better or for worse, as far as how history will judge what we (or Bush, excuse me) did. Chris was just doing his duty, his job, I get that part of it; let`s begin to break this down further, all of us, Left and Right!