The killing of Navy Seal Chris Kyle by a Marine prompted me to read a book that has been on my reading list for a while. Sadly, Kyle was buried last week after being shot by a serviceman that he was trying to help overcome PTSD. Knowing this before reading the book made the book a bit eerie at times, as in when he said he most often got injured stateside rather than on deployments. He was deployed four times to Iraq and became the most lethal sniper in American history.
As Kyle said " I always seemed more vulnerable at home. After every deployment, something would happen to me....Overseas, on deployment, in the war, I seemed invincible." (Kyle, 109) In "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History" he chronicles his life in and out of war. There are sections written by his wife, Taya, which round out the book by showing his personal side.
I found one part particularly interesting. Kyle was describing his BUD/S training and the tremendous dropout rate and the mental and physical rigors of the course. One fellow shattered his hip in the course, and subsequently had a hip replacement. After 18 months of rehabilitation he finished the course, WITH a replaced hip, and according to Kyle was serving on active duty during Kyle's tours. I knew these guys were tough, but that is out of this world.
He was a tough guy, hesitant to leave the service for fear of leaving his teammates behind. He put his family first, and finally got out of the Navy. He continued to care about his fellow soldiers and was so sadly removed from his family by an American veteran he was trying to help. It was a tragic end to such a remarkable man.