"American Sniper"

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Grateful, thankful, appreciative, humble are just a few of the words that come to mind when I think about the topic of this post that I am writing. The other night as my cousin and I were grocery shopping, she decided to grab a movie on our way out (Got to love that red box at Publix). She chose “American Sniper.” Just recently, action movies have become a new favorite of mine, so the title excited me. Sniper? That just means someone is bound to get gunned down and that it self had me sold. But little did I know that the movie I was about to watch would forever change my perspective on life, our country, our rights and our soldiers.

“American Sniper” is a movie based on a true story about a man by the name of Chris Kyle, who is sent to go fight for his country after 9/11. Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and was awarded several commendations for acts of heroism and was also titled the most lethal sniper in military history with over 160 confirmed kills.

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Some would think that Chris must had been head over heels for all the good work that he was doing and being recognized for, but he actually had a hard time dealing with what he was experiencing over in Iraq. His first kill ever, was a woman and a child who was sent with grenades in their hands to kill off the U.S military men. He endured pain, hardship in his marriage, and symptoms of PTSD. After nearly almost losing his life, Chris returns home for good, on edge and unable to adjust fully to civilian life. When asked by a Veterans Affairs psychiatrist if he is haunted by all the things he did in war, he instead replied that he is "haunted by all the guys he couldn't save". The psychiatrist encourages him to help wounded veterans in the VA hospital. Chris meets veterans who suffered severe injuries, coaches them at a shooting range in the woods, and gradually begins to adjust to home life. Unfortunately, Chris was killed by one of the men he coached.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Ok Melissa, How did that movie change your perspective and why would you even want to blog about it?”

Listen carefully and pay attention. As we sit in America, waking up, catching the bus, driving to work or school, going to the beach, sitting back and relaxing, there are men and women who are fighting everyday for our safety, men and women who are willing to kill a mother and her child that are a threat to our society. How insane is that?

We just don’t know how good we have it made here in America. We get to wake up when we want, go where we want, praise whatever God we want and live, while people are being drowned and beheaded just because they believe in Jesus in other countries.

After the movie was done, I sat back and started to think, “What if it were I in that predicament? Would I be brave enough to consider dying for my country?” Some people say, “I wouldn’t even put myself in the position to go to Iraq,” but what would happen if everyone thought like that? We wouldn’t have people to fight for us and we’d most likely eventually end up dead anyways. God provided the people, the resources and the government (that we all say we hate so much) to allow us to live our lives freely. There are pros and cons to everything and that includes our system, but bashing it doesn’t make it better nor does it make it worse.

Stop complaining and start doing something to make a change, to be a change. Michael Jackson said it best “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.” Too many people have too many problems and complaints to report, but have 0 solutions to suggest. What are you doing to make a change in the world we live in? Are you just being a spectator? Or are you actually getting involved in your community. The smallest act can go the longest way.

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