American Sniper

American Sniper. Wow. Incredible movie. While I’m sitting here in a heated home pondering my decision to post this or not-there are US soldiers in situations right now that we cannot even begin to understand. Further to that they come home from this completely different way of life and watch civilians debate or celebrate the most ridiculous subjects (myself included). We can argue all day about the US’s place in any war, but that’s not what this post is meant for. When a man/woman signs up to protect our country-they make the decision (no matter what leader is in office) to defend us. They willfully put their lives on the line for our freedom. I’ve always had the utmost respect and admiration to our military force, but i still can’t comprehend their sacrifices. And I quickly forget when I’m dealing with stupid trivial shit that our military is out there with such a greater responsibility to bear in conditions unknown, away from their family, making decisions a majority of us would never have to consider. Then I try to imagine adjusting to civilian life. Culture shock, PTSD, people who judge you but do not walk a mile in your shoes. I plead ignorance, but my mind is consumed with what our soldiers go through, what the families of the military go through. My father in law always tells us stories about Vietnam that blow my mind. It just really hit hard and consumed my awareness. And the whole point to this is-at the beginning of this blog I contemplate even posting this because my daily thoughts/decisions can be so trivial and dumb compared to what these individuals live through.
In the end I don’t think soldiers are looking for sympathy or to be celebrated-they are most of the time humble and don’t look for recognition but are proud to do their jobs. They are our true heroes though and our “hard days” at work have nothing on theirs. (Doctors, Nurses, Rescuers, Law Enforcement aside)
The country is an uproar for what Michael Moore and Seth Rogen tweeted and I thought what they both said were thoughtless and knee jerk reactions to a jaw dropping, leave the theatre in silence masterpiece. The movie is a great eye opener and way to start these conversations, but it’s so much more than a well written, beautifully performed film. It is a wake up call.
We speak from experiences. It has been 8 days since I watched the film and my mind is still racing. Our attention span in the digital/Internet age is extremely short. We forgot about the Ebola crisis, the missing MH370 plane, and other sensationalized/non sensationalized media blitzes, but we cannot forget to be grateful for these men and women. We cannot forget to recognize the sacrifices & courage of those in the US military.
I get what Michael Moore so ignorantly tried to convey to us and that was, “don’t you feel bad for the Iraqi people who were invaded?” “would you call an Iraqi sniper a hero?” And “if Iraq invaded us would you stay behind and fight for the US?” And his freedom of speech is just that: his Freedom. Our soldiers uphold that freedom. It is naive and entitled to be the one who thinks these rights cannot be taken from us without our government & military presence. Moore’s attitude seems sure he’d have the same liberties without the military’s impact. I do sympathize with innocent victims of any crime/conflict or war, but it is clear to me that the reason I can vote, bear arms, be in a workplace with men as my equals , wear a skirt above my knees, show my face, write this blog will come back to the military and our government protecting my right to do so. In a perfect world we would not need to go to war to protect these liberties, but we are not in a perfect world and when it comes time that the nation is forced to take action-they do so with us, our constitutional rights and this land in mind to protect. Iraqis can and may celebrate their forces Michael Moore (if they are free to do so) & we as Americans will celebrate & honor ours & when I’m aware of the privileges I have because of them, I will always hold our military in the highest regards.