American Sniper – A 2015 Reading Challenge Review

This week’s reading was a memoir/autobiography, American Sniper by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. One of my Facebook friends recommended this book to me when I first started the challenge.

Now, I don’t approve of the wars we’ve been in over the 10+ years. There’s a lot of politics over the whole thing that just disgust me. I think our troops should be state-side, guarding our borders. However, I have a LOT of respect for the men and women who serve. It is no light thing they are out there doing and while I don’t agree with what they’ve been sent to do, I admire their bravery and their commitment.

I found American Sniper to be incredibly interesting. It took me only a couple days to read it. It was very much like sitting around a table with a couple of drinks, listening to Chris Kyle talk. His Texan drawl comes through the writing quite often.

Chris Kyle’s narration takes you through his training and deployments, and gives you a brief glimpse into some of his personal life with his wife and kids. I always knew soldiers were tough (and their spouses left state-side are pretty dang tough, too), but I didn’t realize just HOW tough they had to be. Training is brutal, but then again, war is worse. There were calls Chris Kyle had to make based on the Rules of Engagement (ROEs) that were hard.

I don’t think the media ever talks about how the snipers have to document all their kills. They need witnesses. They have to follow the ROEs. Killing the wrong person could get you in serious trouble, but the politics involved with that were crazy. The enemy Chris Kyle fought got smart, sometimes, and figured out ways they could take out more American soldiers by exploiting the rules the soldiers lived by.

The book was enlightening and sobering. It’s weird to say I enjoyed it, given the content, but I did. It was one of those books that really expanded my world view and I highly recommend it.

Next time, I’ll be reviewing Bastion by Mercedes Lackey as my “Book with magic.”

Anyone have any recommendations for a book based on a true story?

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