Last Tuesday, my boyfriend and I decided to see American Sniper. The only knowledge I had about it was the 30-second preview I saw on TV a few days prior where Chris Kyle is on the phone with his pregnant wife when she tells him "it's a boy". Instantly, I wanted to see it, and the fact that Bradley Cooper starred in it was a plus.
(Note : If you haven't seen the movie and don't want me to spoil anything, skip reading the bold part.)
As I mentioned, all I knew about the movie was the short clip from the preview. I didn't read the book, I didn't do any research, and I hadn't talked to anyone about the movie. Therefore, I didn't know he died in the end, just as his life was looking up.
The credits started rolling as the completely packed theater sat silently, watching. I took one breath in and one breath out and continued doing this until it was time to get up and leave. A dull roar of chatter began as people conversed about the movie, but I stayed silent. I stayed silent until I got about seven feet down the aisle from where we were sitting, until I started quietly sniffling and hiding my cry. I was embarrassed - why was no one else crying? As we got closer and closer to his car, my dainty cry turned into more of a hysterical hyperventilation session. (My boyfriend told me that if this was our first date he would think I was a little wacko...)
I sat in his passenger seat as he held my hand and told me it was going to be okay, as any good boyfriend should. Still, I couldn't help it. I kept thinking about the movie and I kept crying. I cried because I felt so bad for Chris Kyle and his family.
Then, I started thinking. Sure, this movie was all about the "deadliest sniper", Chris, and the story of his life after returning from war. But what about the other hundreds and thousands of men and women who risk their lives? This movie was just about one, wonderful man, who had such an outstanding impact. What if the movie was from the perspective of the guy who just proposed to his girlfriend and then got his face blown up? Or from the perspective of Chris's brother, who was terrified to go to war? Whoever's perspective, whoever the movie was about, I would have been heartbroken to see the overwhelming struggle these people go through on a daily basis to serve our country.
So, thank you, to the men and women who help to fight and protect this country. You may not be featured in an award-winning movie, but you all deserve awards. You all do something I couldn't imagine enduring, not even for one second. You all have family and friends and loved ones at home and are living a life I will never be able to understand. You are all heroes.
Thank you for your courage and honor.
Thank you for your bravery and strength.
Thank you for your leadership and fearlessness, even when you may be absolutely terrified.
Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do every day.