Monday, January 26, 2015

"American Sniper" Strikes A Deep, Emotional Chord In Audiences Across The U.S.

    I should have known that something was in the air when I saw a train crossing the tracks at Dishman Lane in Bowling Green late Friday evening carrying U.S. military tanks, Humvees and Jeeps painted with that very familiar faint yellow which is the camouflage for combat in a Middle Eastern desert.
    I didn't know it at the time, but I was in for a big surprise this weekend. I assume the train was transporting equipment from Fort Knox to Fort Campbell, two Army bases,  which are both located in the State of Kentucky. Recently, I've heard the news that the U.S. government is downsizing our military and reducing the amount of man power and equipment used in operations across the globe. I know that our Kentucky politicians are concerned and many Kentucky citizens are also concerned. Both bases will be greatly reduced in many ways effecting our state's economy.  Mainly, I am concerned about America's safety and security against the War On Terrorism. With all the reduction in the troops, I feel that this make us more vulnerable to the enemy a.k.a. "ISIS."
      However, the high point and surprise of my weekend was how great of a movie that "American Sniper" was starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood. It's was the highest grossing non-big budget films movies of all time during its first two weekends. Even my wife, Patty, wanted to see it. We arrived at the theater about 15 minutes early even before the previews started and the movie was almost sold out. And it was the first movie showing of the day.  For me when I walked out the theater after the movie was over, I felt like I had been hit hard in the chest. The movie is such a deep, emotional movie for all true, patriot Americans especially if you have family members who are veterans and who fought in combat. I could barely hold my tears back. Wow. There was total silence and not a dry eye in that theater when everyone walked out of there. My heart was full yesterday afternoon after the movie. But I think all Americans can relate to this movie and the incredible bravery of Navy Seal Chris Kyle and his life story especially if you know someone who has returned home from combat and has experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Chris served four tours of duty in Iraq, he had the highest number of sniper kills (160) in U.S. military history. He earned two Sliver Stars and five Bronze Stars Medals before he was killed on a firing range at home in Texas while trying to help another solider with PTSD.  I also think all Americans can relate to the 911 scenes and the War on Terrorism. My father was a World War II and Korean War veteran and experienced PTSD or "shell shock" as it was known back in those days. Psychiatrists and psychologists really did not know much about the condition until recently.  Also, the general public is starting to understand and learn more about it too.  Nevertheless, this movie has struck a deep chord in my life and I will be forever grateful for Chris's service to our country. I also know that the family too suffers when soldiers returns home because they are still fighting the war in their minds. My dad did and my mom says he was never the same when he came home. Go see the movie and then thank a veteran and their family for the service and sacrifices in which they have made in order to protect America from the evils of terrorism.

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