Monday, June 1, 2015

American Sacrifice

American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith and Sacrifice – Taya Kyle (William Morrow)

I have never been a fan of those pundits, commentators and journalist who use the phrase “ultimate sacrifice” to describe those warriors who lost their lives in battle or on behalf of our country. The folks at Merriam Webster define the word Sacrifice as- “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.” Most if not all of the members of the military that I have had the pleasure to have met, know or call friend would never willingly “give up” their lives; they would fight tooth and nail to return home to their family and if they died in battle they would do it with honor.

With her book American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith and Sacrifice, Taya Kyle, the wife of Chris Kyle, the man dubbed the American Sniper has released a story that is part loving tribute to the legendary warrior and a poignant reminder of the difficult sacrifice that the families of our all-volunteer fighting force make when they allow those men and women to go off to far flung places to fight for the freedoms we all in enjoy. It is a story that has never been given enough play and one that we all need to be reminded up more often.

While those family members are not subject to the level of danger that the warriors face a solid case could be made that many of those family members and survivors need to be given the support to deal with the stresses and strains involved with loved ones subjected to battle in far flung places for extended periods. Mrs. Kyle details the efforts to impact the lives of not only warriors, but also their families through work started by Chris before his devastating murder and continued by her with untold strength and grace.

She provides insight into not only the difficulties of separation, the uncertainty spawned by the dangerous career choice of sniper, but also the rollercoaster ride that she and her children have been on since her husband’s murder. Throughout she maintains a level of, at least by outward appearances, even tempered candidness, that I personally can’t muster when it comes to things like the legal case brought by the dirt bag former Governor of Minnesota, turned conspiracy theorist whack-a-mole, Jesse Ventura.

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