Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mr. Mommy Booknerd's Review: AMERICAN SNIPER by Chris Kyle with Jim DeFelice and Scott McEwen

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From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war—of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyles fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyles wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell.

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Chris KyleSEAL Team 3 Chief Chris Kyle (1974-2013) served four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and elsewhere. For his bravery in battle, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. Additionally, he received the Grateful Nation Award, given by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Following his combat deployments, he became chief instructor for training Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter-Sniper teams, and he authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual. A native Texan, he served as president of Craft International (www.craftintl.com), a world-class leader in training and security, while devoting much of his spare time to helping disabled veterans. Chief Kyle is survived by his wife and their two children.

Image of Chris Kyle
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Every generation has iconic heroes that emerge as a result of war.  The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have proven no different.  In the coming years we will continue to uncover acts of bravery and selflessness displayed by American patriots while serving in foreign lands.  Chris Kyle is one of these men.  AMERICAN SNIPER allowed us to enter into a world that is observed by many but truly only experienced by a few.  Set his accomplishments on the battlefield aside, the greatest takeaway from this book is the sacrifices made by the individual to their own safety and time with their family.  The book exposes the constant struggle Kyle deals with in being an elite member of a team dedicated to the safety of fellow Americans while at the same time knowing his membership to this team has an adverse affect on his wife and children.  The strongest moments of this book are when Kyle fully exposes his hardships and the mental toll his career inflicted upon him.  He does not hide behind a tough guy image and is a great example to others to say it is okay to get help.  Identify the problem, develop a plan, and solve it.  Chris Kyle even in death will be role model and mentor to many.  Craft International will continue to train and ensure that his legacy lives on.  It is our duty to ensure that the accomplishments, impact, and sacrifices made by individuals like Kyle do not fade into the past.  4.5 stars


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