Wednesday, March 7, 2012

American sniper tells his story

He’s been called “Devil from Ramadi” by the Iraqi insurgents and “The Legend” by his fellow SEALs. With 255 kills, 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon, SEAL Team 3 Chief Chris Kyle is considered the deadliest marksman in US military history. Although still eager to fight he decided to retire from the Navy after 10 years of service. He tells his story in his book “American Sniper”. “In the end, my story, in Iraq and afterward, is about more than just killing people or even fighting for my country. It's about being a man. And it's about love as well as hate”.

Chris Kyle was an ordinary cowboy from Texas, helping with cattle and horses. He grew up hunting deer and pheasants with a rifle and a shotgun his father gave him. He was also a bronco rodeo rider before he joined the Navy. He got into the prestigious SEAL special operations unit.
Kyle admits that he hesitated the first time he was to kill a person. It was a woman who was about to attack a group of U.S. marines with a hand grenade. It was before Saddam Hussein had been ousted. One day he was overlooking an Iraqi town from a shabby building. The soldiers didn't see the woman coming. His chief told him to take a shot. He hesitated but he was ordered once again to shoot. And he did it. The woman dropped the grenade. He shot her again as it exploded.

After four deployments to Iraq he learned to stop hesitating and start shooting straight. “You do it so the enemy won't kill you or your countrymen” – he writes in the book.
It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job” – he told Texas Monthly.
For his valor, he was awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars with Valor.

He left the service in 2009, in order to save his marriage. It was an incredibly difficult decision for him, but as he wrote in the book “others could do my job protecting the country, but no one could truly take my place with my family. And I had given my country a fair share”.
He lives with his wife and two children in Dallas. Since leaving the Navy he has started his own military contracting firm, Craft International. It provides military and law enforcement sniper training as well as private security and protection.

There are some Polish accents in this book too. Kyle mentions the cooperation with the members of the GROM – „the Polish version of the Special Forces, with an excellent reputation in special operations”. He also mentions one of the Polish specialties – Zubrowka, a vodka flavored with a grass eaten by wisents (hence its name).

Title: American Sniper. The autobiography of the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history
Author: Chris Kyle, with: Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice
Publisher: HarperCollins ebooks
Year: 2012
Language: English

Reading this book I noted down some new words (especially those connected with the military forces) and some idioms. I will write about it in one of the future posts.
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