American Hero – American Tragedy
The nation mourns the tragic death of an American hero. Chris Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield are gone. May God speed your journey, noble and valiant warrior.
On Saturday (two days ago), Chris and Chad were murdered by a fellow veteran. The murder occurred at a Texas shooting range. The entire news industry continues to pursue, develop and report the story. Chris Kyle was a decorated war hero, a Navy SEAL and America’s greatest sniper. As a civilian, he was a successful author, entrepreneur, husband and father. The death of a hero warrants the nation’s attention.
Until the news of Chris Kyle’s death, it is likely that less than 20% of Americans had ever heard of him. However, today perhaps 80% of Americans have heard of Chris Kyle. I believe a majority of those have joined in the mourning process.
We are Americans. It is what we do. We give thanks to our veterans for their service. We give honor to those who have given their all in the service of their nation. We mourn the deaths of our fallen heroes, whether at war or at peace. Giving thanks, honoring, and mourning are things that often unite us. It has not always been so, but I am thankful that those dark days are past.
Now I must turn a corner in my commentary. Before I do, let me say this: I personally consider Chris Kyle an American hero. I am among those who mourn his death. My prayers go out to Chris’s wife, children and family. I pray also for the family of Chad Littlefield. May the Lord bring healing for their painful loss.
I confess the 80% number that I threw out earlier is probably quite generous. However, even if it is an accurate number, a 51% majority of 80% is still only 41% who mourn. That leaves 59% who are not mourning today.
Forget the numbers. They are just wild assumptions. My point is there are many Americans not mourning Chris Kyle today for these reasons:
1) They have not previously heard of him. They did not catch the new stories.
2) They did catch the news stories but lack the intimate details of his remarkable life that might inspire their mourning.
3) Their worldview considers Navy SEALs, Marines, etc. “trained killers” and not worthy of hero status.
4) They hate George Bush, the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and all the American military personnel sent there to “kill innocent civilians.”
Those negative perspectives do exist. We all know it. Some people have no patriotism. Some people love their agenda and their ideology more than they love their nation or their fellow man. Chris understood this. He spent a few words, but only a few, dealing with the subject in his first book, American Sniper.
The prologue to the book is, “Evil in the Crosshairs.” Here are a few quotes from page 4:
“Savage, despicable evil. That’s what we were fighting in Iraq. That’s why a lot of people, myself included, call the enemy savages. There really was no other way to describe what we encountered there.”
“I had a job to do as a SEAL. I killed the enemy, an enemy I saw day in and day out plotting to kill my fellow Americans. I’m haunted by the enemy’s successes. They were few, but even a single American life is one too many lost.”
“People ask me all the time, ‘How many people have you killed?’ My standard response is, ‘Does the answer make me less, or more, of a man?’”
“The number is not important to me. I only wish I’d killed more. Not for bragging rights, but because I believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking American and innocent Iraqi lives.”
“I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job.”
There is a fearless, shameless declaration. There is a confidence of purpose. There is a trust in God. Could a sane man kill between 160 to 255 “savages” unless he believed it was right?
No, Chris Kyle and men like him did not go to Iraq and Afghanistan to kill innocent civilians. Their job was to stop armed savages from killing unarmed, innocent Iraqi and Afghan citizens. Their job was to prevent evil from forcing its will upon the innocent.
I do not know the mind of God on all things. I cannot and would not morally judge the right or wrong of the actions of the U.S. Military in Iraq or anywhere else. I only know what I believe.
I believe that God sees the battle between good and evil in all circumstance. I believe that “savages” who kill unarmed innocents to control by terror are evil. I believe that we do not need a handwritten writ of permission from the Lord to do what is clearly right. I believe it is sometimes right to find the savages then “kill them all and let God sort them out.”
I believe Chris Kyle deserves honor as a fallen hero. May God speed your journey, noble and valiant warrior.
George Rogers Clark blogs at New American Liberty – http://newamericanliberty.us & Christian USA – http://christianusa.us.