I almost never embed videos here, but I thought this one was pretty interesting. Its an interview with Garett Reppenhagen, who has told the American Sniper story from a different perspective than Chris Kyle’s.
As a veteran who deals with her own traumas from her military service, its incredibly important that we are not just stuck with hollywood’s and the media’s version of the military, and war. One can’t make their own determinations and figure out what they believe by only listening to one perspective.
I am also linking to a more indepth article, The American Sniper You Didn’t Hear About, which kind of points out some of the differences between Reppenhagen and Kyle; but really goes in depth with what happened to Reppenhagen. As usual, I really think the links tells a great bit of the story, and the comments are also worth reading.
I can tell you, there completely comes a time when you start asking yourself what you are doing, and why you are doing it. And that is true whether you are a combat soldier, or not (and I am in the latter category). My non-combat time causes me to have increased compassion for those who ended up fighting wars that didn’t really make sense because their sense of duty overwhelmed…because inevitably, the questions about ones morality and humanity begin to come. I know what it felt like for me…I can’t imagine how difficult it would be when in combat.
While many believe Kyle is an American Hero, its important that we don’t forget that the obvious next question from a veteran is if he’s the hero, then what the hell is everyone else? Don’t negate the heroism that came from just surviving to tell the story when a lot of times the odds were against survival.
I would like to end with one last thought. Go see the movie – I certainly might. BUT…go watch Restrepo: One Platoon, One alley, One Year and go read some of the veterans writings over at Iraq Veterans Against War. Learn more about what war is really like and the effects it has on one’s being from documentaries and Veterans, not Hollywood.
Here is the interview: