From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Friday, July 31, 2015

Open Letter to Lindy West Concerning Her Comment About "The American Sniper."

The comments to this article are closed at this point, but I have to make comment.  I am an American, and kept safe every day by those serving in the United States Military.  I know a lot of Military people, a few of them in my immediate family.  I have been  the wife of a Soldier serving in this present conflict, and in fact tonight my husband, who is now retired after 30 years in the United States Army, is in Iraq in his new position with the State Department. What America has asked of many of them, especially people like this man who served in the darkest places, performing the darkest jobs, is enough to break any person.  To have such articles and statements publicly printed after his death, when he can't even defend himself, becomes for me a personal obligation that I must address. The following link goes to the article written by Lindy West.  I first made many of these statements directly to Ms. West's Facebook page, as I am very certain she will never visit this blog, and I wanted to specifically address her.

 Ms. West, I read your comment and article about who "the American Sniper" really was, and I am terribly interested in what research and sources you sought out before you made the statement that you did. I believe the quote was, "The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer." Perhaps first I should explain why I am so interested. Several of my family members are, or were, members of the military during this present conflict. It is very easy to make accusations, I've made some of my own, but never without first hand knowledge of the accusations I made, or irrefutable evidence by reliable sources. You are a professional journalist, and I would very much like to know about how you came to your conclusions about Chris Kyle. I noticed that the tags on this post related to some of the hate filled responses you received to that comment. They were listed as, "Legal issue, Trolling, Hate speech, Offensive/Threatening language, etc..." I think that actually your statement, in and of itself, could be classified as any one of those things. So I am asking you to provide information about how you reached your conclusions. I personally have not seen the movie, read the book, nor do I have any personal knowledge of Chris Kyle. Just as I know that not all those who serve in the military are all that they ought to be, I also know that any person, especially one who is dead, can be maligned in The Information Age with little or no proof. On behalf of all those family members who have watched the sacrifices of their loved ones in service to this country in a war we did not start, and made sacrifices of their own, I am asking you for this information... Chris Kyle has a surviving family.

The official military records of Chris Kyle have been released through the Freedom of Information Act, and are readily available online. 

" A member of SEAL Team 3, Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War. In his time there, he is purported to have shot and killed more than 160 targets. He was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars, a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. He was honorably discharged in 2009." Quoted from USA Today.

There is a very interesting article from The New Yorker which addresses many of the accusations made against this man. 

Ms. West, have you ever known very closely someone who has served in combat? I am referring in particular to that kind of service where a man is kicking in doors, watching men die on either side of him, and having to defend his own life from the threat of imminent death while doing so?
I have known many such people. I understand a great deal about PTSD. No one who experiences war at the level that this man did is ever the same. I am sure you personally do not believe in war, however there are in particular approximately 1 million people in the Middle East who do believe in war, and who have declared it against our nation. They, with sincerity and devotion,which they are willing to give their lives for, wake up every morning intent on flying their flag from our nation's capitol. Ms. West, one of their first targets will be outspoken female journalists. They hate everything you stand for Ms. West, and would think nothing of taking your life, and doing so in the vilest way they can conceive of. That isn't the only area of the world where there are those who hate our country and all we stand for.
I can not imagine myself having to take the life of another person... yet I know that in order for our country and our people to be protected, there are those who intend us harm, who will be stopped by no other method than the taking of their lives. That fact is as old as humanity, and the answer to that problem does not lie in diplomacy... nor in compliance... nor even in prayer... Our enemies in the Middle East daily murder their own innocent countrymen... surely you understand they have no qualms about murdering our innocent countrymen. They have already proven that they do not.
Have you ever seen the 20/20 interview with Robin... or read the book by his wife...
Ms. West, I think your callous evaluation reveals more about your character than his... and I seriously doubt that my words will mean anything to you, but I cannot state those two things as fact, as I do not know it as fact.