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The thing we all had in common wasn’t muscle; it was the will to do whatever it takes. – Chris Kyle

I’ll start today’s post the same way that I started yesterday’s post – that America is a glorious place to grow up. A scary reality is that our glorious home is constantly being protected by people we don’t see, or ever really know of. Some of the most incredible people are people that we don’t give enough credit to – be it because we don’t get the chance to, or because we aren’t given the truth about what happened, or because we simply as humans forget to.

Chris Kyle is credited as the deadliest sniper in US military history. It’s an obvious draw to go watch a movie like American Sniper, based off of Chris Kyle’s autobiography of the same name, with a tagline like that and with a director like Clint Eastwood.

The movie chronicles his life as a Navy Seal sniper, and the life he built with his family, both at home and in the military. The emotional and physical struggle was palpable throughout the movie. The execution and pacing of the movie was well balanced (aside from the fake baby, but whatever, not important to the plot) and the subtleties and nuances in the film style were classic Clint Eastwood. They added to the overall feel of the movie; I completely connected to the movie and was able to appreciate this man’s service and sacrifice without being overwhelmed by extensive amounts of “extras” – no extra visual effects, no extra fluff.

With a story like Kyle’s, it’s easy to immediately appreciate the work that goes into people like him. He’s an American Hero. He fought for all of our freedoms. He went on multiple tours. He saved so many, both abroad and at home.

What I admire most though is that he fearlessly continued to do so. There was no question as to what he thought the right thing to do was; he protected his own. His loyalty knew no bounds. Even through the struggle of coming home and leaving the war behind, he turned himself around. He was a loyal soldier, a loyal team mate, a loyal father, a loyal husband. He was a hero.

If you couldn’t tell, I loved the movie. It didn’t glorify the war; I think it did a good job representing the brutal truth behind what these men go through. There was a lot of heartbreak in this story, yet to persevere and keep going is true strength, and you could see it in everybody’s performances.

I think a movie like this does us a lot of good. It grounds us. It reminds us of the simple responsibilities we have to one another. It’s a theme that I’ve felt in Selma and Unbroken as well. I appreciate that we have this wave of films this year, to ground us all.

I know this post probably won’t be spread throughout all that many people, but I just want to say thank you. Thank you to the people who have sacrificed for us in the past, and thank you to the people who continue to do so. There is so little I feel like I’ve done to contribute, as these people already have. But they inspire me to do more. To be more. So, again, thank you. Thank you, a million times.

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