Last week I finished American Sniper. It's amazing how reading about another person's life can affect our own.
If you've read the book or seen the movie of the same name, you can probably understand what I mean. I have not seen the movie and because I don't see a lot of movies, it may be a while until I do, but I don't feel slighted. In my experience, books are almost always better.
I thought this book would be much like Marcus Lattrell's Lone Survivor. They both tell the story of Navy Seals and the missions they've been called upon to do. But the story of Chris Kyle is much different than Lattrell's. In many ways Kyle's autobiography is more personal, more intimate. This surprised me because as we get to know the person through the words, Kyle seems more a rougher character. Maybe it's because he tells us more about himself. Another way this story differed from Lattrell's is that Kyle's book doesn't dwell so much on the process it takes to become a Navy Seal.
Most know the story of Chris Kyle, the deadliest (or by some's definition, the most successful...) sniper in United States Military history. He was unapologetic of what he did; he had come to terms with that with each shot.
And if you know the story of Chris Kyle you most likely know how he died. I thought they might include details of his death, but the book didn't. And I'm glad it didn't. The book was a story of how he lived, not how he died.
Books like these change us. They remind those of us not in the military or living in war zones that horror and actual evil exist. They remind us that people are capable of acts so terrible they're hardly believable. Whether you agree with what Kyle did, what our country is doing or what those he fought against are doing, when we know more about the men, women and children affected by those actions we know more about ourselves.