Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has been in the news a bunch lately due to the release of the movie “American Sniper” which is partly based on his life and exploits in Iraq. There has been a bit of controversy as to whether Kyle is truly a hero worthy of being honored. Despite what you might think about the movie, which I haven’t seen, having one made about your life is a big deal. This increased exposure has led to people calling Kyle names I won’t repeat, those people include a certain bulbous filmmaker who this blog doesn’t recognize as a human being.
During his time in the SEALs Kyle accumulated 150+ confirmed kills, a staggering amount. For comparison, Chuck Mawhinney, the top USMC sniper during Vietnam had 103 confirmed kills. Mr. Mawhinney never received much attention for his exploits, much of that attention instead went to Carlos Hathcock. Mr. Hathcock is without a doubt the most famous sniper is US history. Much like Kyle, Hathcock’s exploits are legendary in military circles. All these snipers have one huge thing in common however, they were never awarded the highest military honor in the US, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The U.S. Military has deployed snipers in every conflict in its history, from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror. It seems odd then that the three most successful snipers in its history haven’t earned the CMH. Well noble and intelligent readers I have the answer and it’s pretty simple. Fear. The Military establishment is afraid honoring snipers will look bad. The main weapon of a sniper isn’t a scoped rifle, oh no, it’s the fear he (or she in the case of those crazy Russians) instills in the hearts of soldiers. Knowing that any second on the battlefield could be your last is an indescribably scary feeling and snipers only ramp up those fears.
Snipers have always held a fascination with the American public, from movies like Lone Survivor and American Sniper to books written by Stephen Hunter and Stan R. Mitchell.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing that American Sniper has become a box office hit and has been nominated for awards. Instead of picking apart the movie for wrong uniforms and unsafe gun handling, enjoy the movie and feel proud there are still men out there that’ll lace up their boots, strap on their armor, and protect your freedoms and our service members.
“The Congressional Medal of Honor or The Casket with Metal Handles, I guarantee you’ll get one of them”