Why ‘American Sniper’ is for Military Wives

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When the husband of one of my close friends was killed in Iraq, she slipped an e e cummings poem into his casket before he was buried at Arlington. That poem ran through my mind, in verses and lines, like a skipping CD, the whole time I watched “American Sniper” in the theater this past weekend.

the boys i mean are not refined
they go with girls who buck and bite

I’ve read many commentaries about this movie in the past week, most of them heralding it for telling the wife and family side of war.

it takes a special kind of man

 

It’s true. More than any war movie I’ve seen – and loving a man who lives at the ‘tip of the spear’ means that I’ve seen most of them – “American Sniper” touches on what war was like for Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s wife.  It tells what war is like for all the wives.

I do mean wives.

I say ‘wives’ and not ‘spouses’ intentionally, though I’ve been conditioned to correct myself on this, because most, if not all, of the spouses of military operators are women.

That this is the first movie to humanize the wives of warriors – to make us out to be more than ribbon-festooned cheerleaders – is almost offensive. It is, or should be, obvious to everyone that combat exposure is not the sum total of a warrior, and that war does not only affect the warrior.

But – and I think Taya Kyle would agree with me on this – to say that the movie tells the whole family story would be like saying that ping pong at the Rec Center tells you all you need to know about Wimbledon. There is no way a movie can truly show the family side of war, but at least this one tried.

one hangs a hat upon her tit
one carves a cross on her behind
they do not give a s— for wit
the boys i mean are not refined

These are the people we sacrifice to save.

My husband and I watched the movie together, sitting in a packed theater in a town that has few veterans and even fewer – if any – operators. I glanced around at our fellow movie goers, many overweight, most missing the inside jokes sprinkled throughout the film. I smiled to myself, proud of my husband, knowing that none of the others in the theater knew that the guy in the third row had lived through encounters exactly like the ones on the screen; knowing that these are the people we sacrifice to save.

A couple sitting behind us brought their children, who looked to be about two and four years old. My husband and I — parents of young children ourselves — were disgusted with that couple.

Only someone who has no concept of how awful war can really be would choose to force visions of it onto the innocent. Their innocent. Our own children were one block away, at a drop in childcare center. Playing. Laughing. Being kids. He goes away to war, and I make do without him, so that our kids won’t have to see it here.

We signed on for this war together.

We signed on for this war together. He, to fight it. Me, to hold his life together so that he can leave. He, to keep the bad guys ‘over there.’ Me, to give him a life to come home to. He, to place himself directly in front of the worst the world has to offer. Me, to be the place where he can go to rest.

It takes a special kind of man to volunteer to run toward the ugliest of fights. It takes a special kind of woman to let him.

In the movie, when Chris and Taya first meet, she tells him that she would never date a SEAL. When my husband and I first met and he told me he was in the Army, I told him, “So long as you aren’t one of those psycho killers.” We laugh about that now.

the boys i mean are not refined
they cannot chat of that and this
they do not give a fart for art
they kill like you would take a piss

I got my college minor in studio art. I can chat expertly about “that and this.” I was a Journalism major and well into a career as a newspaper reporter when I met my soldier. I harbored no visions of deployments or camouflage back then. I did not want to be a warrior’s wife.

I never imagined that my vacuum cleaner would break because it sucked up a brass shell casing or that my dryer’s lint screen would be dotted with orange foam ear plugs.

I did not know that I would come to find the smell of Army – dirt, sweat and metal – sexy. That the sound of ripping velcro would become a turn-on. It had never before occurred to me that I could love someone whose job might involve killing. Killing people.

In an early scene, Taya and Chris Kyle lie together in bed, her hair long and dark like mine, fanned out across her pillow as his arm is slung across her body, his wrist near her face.

“I wonder if her hair will get caught in his G-Shock?” I whispered to my husband, laughing. The watch was an excellent, accurate, detail that was probably lost on most of the movie goers.

“Maybe,” he replied. “But I bet she won’t bitch about it.”

I shuddered both times in the movie when Taya was on a satellite phone call with Chris and combat erupted around him, turning war into a conference call. I have been on that call.

The movie didn’t show what came next.

The movie didn’t show what came next. I wished it would have. The throwing up, reflexively, again and again, out of pure fear. The dry heaves, streams of snot, and the feeling of your own body temperature dropping as you curl into a fetal position and stay like that for hours.

The movie didn’t show how you must use every ounce of energy just to exist through the two days of wondering if you’re a widow yet, and then relaxing a bit on the third day because the casualty notification team has not come. If he were dead, they would have been here by now.

That friend who put the poem in her husband’s casket, she and I used to talk about casualties a lot. In one of our conversations she said, “You’re strong. When it happens, you’ll be okay. It will make you sad, but it won’t destroy you.”

“When,” not “if.”

She corrected herself immediately, but it had already been said. It felt like a “when” to me in those days. I attended so many memorial services for friends then. It seemed like there was at least one every month. It seems like those days are behind us now. Like we are the lucky ones. The ones who got away. But I’m sure it felt like that to Taya Kyle, too.

“American Sniper” is a excellent film, deserving of all the praise it is receiving. It has started a long overdue conversation, about warriors, and family, and life after war. About PTSD and what it really means. About the nature of people who will give absolutely everything they have – their arms, their legs, their minds, their years, their families, their memories, their lives – for something bigger than themselves. For their friends. For their country. For their childrens’ futures.

the boys i mean are not refined
they shake the mountains when they dance

 

 

Rebekah Sanderlin is an Army wife, a mother of three and a professional writer. She writes the Must Have Parent column for Military.com. Her work has been published nationwide including in The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, and in Self and Maxim magazines. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the Military Family Advisory Network and Blue Star Families.

About the Author

Rebekah Sanderlin
Rebekah Sanderlin is an Army wife, a mother of three and a professional writer. She writes the "Must Have Parent" column for Military.com. Her work has been published nationwide including in The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, and in Self and Maxim magazines. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the Military Family Advisory Network and Blue Star Families.
  • ophiolite

    This was exceptionally poignant.

    • Virginia

      I have not yet seen this movie. I am a Vietnam veteran’s wife. We had very little contact, MARS radio was about it, and only twice during the whole two years my husband served in the war complements of the wonderful men and women who manned the HAM radios. I am not sure I can watch the movie, but I think that it is probably good for those wives of current service members. We (Vietnam wives) did not have e-mail or SKYPE, and the wives of today’s generations do not understand what it was like to wait for months for a letter, then receive several at one time. It was so difficult. I am very glad that today’s wives have the support of the nation. We did not. I am also very happy for the reception the soldiers receive upon their return. Again, we did not. The nation supports you and the efforts of the people in combat, men and women. While there were very few women in combat during Vietnam, some were, mostly nurses and other medical personnel. For them, I am eternally grateful. I am also ashamed of the people of the USA when our men returned from battle. People I had known all my life assaulted me and my husband with words that can never be forgotten. Baby killer, massacre man, and other similar epithets. Today’s wives are very lucky, even though their men come home sometimes so terribly maimed and/or disabled. At least they are coming home and there is medical help for them. I am also very ashamed of the VA for taking so long to treat some. I want to help, but I am not sure how.

      • Dana

        Virginia, though it may be late coming please accept my gratitude for your husbands service as well as yours to our country. My husband is active duty EOD and has had more deployments than I care to remember and I can’t imagine not having the support that we have or having the luxuries of the communication we have while they are away. Again thank you for your service.

      • Lynne

        I am a veteran. I have not seen this movie yet. Not sure I can or will. I also served during a time when we did not have cell phones or email, we did have phones but could only use them about once a month. We had snail mail. Care packages were the best and we lived for them. We were received well when we returned home. We seen horrible things. Mass graves. Bombings. Shootings. Suicide bombers. I prersonally was pulled out of the drivers seat of a Humvee at a checkpoint one time because women are not allowed to drive. We were shot at and not allowed to shoot back! They counted out ammo and rounds everyday for fear we would shoot an innocent bystander. Our ammo was in plastic wrapped heat sealed packages so if we needed to use it we prayed real hard that we could open them quickly…which we learned how to do! Yes, each group of soldiers has their own unique set of challenges we have faced!

      • Alison

        My husband went to Iraq at the very beginning as an Airborne infantryman (2003). We never had Skype or email or anything like that. As they were just setting things up, it took months for me to receive a letter and I often received multiple at one time. I did not see him for 1 year. He went back for a 15-month deployment and again, no email or Skype or anything like that. They lost a huge amount of the battalion (KIA), and those who lost their husband waited days to be informed in person. So, not everything changed. ❤️

  • Going to see it tomorrow without the Man.

    This was just so on point.

  • Stacey F.

    Excellent. Absolutely excellent.

  • I can’t watch war movies. Or even read some of the letters Seth and I wrote during his deployments. It gives me vivid nightmares if I do. I’m glad there is a film telling not just the story of war, but what it’s like at home. I was on the phone with Seth while they took fire in their camp back in 2006. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it is something I will never forget. This article was written by someone I have a lot of respect for – and when Seth retires, I will probably think a lot of the same things when I see this film. Thank you for writing this Rebekah.

    Ann Marie of FarmingGrace.com (formerly Household6diva.com)

    • hi_desertgirl

      I’m with you. My husband did four deployments to Iraq. First one was a 14 month pump with two trips to Fallujah. Hit by an IED. I’ve compartmentalized so much of the last ten years. I know better than to mess with it. As it was, I cried reading this because I KNOW those feelings and thoughts. Thanks for sharing….

    • Ginny

      I don’t watch them either. My husband retires in May, 21 yrs. maybe then I can watch them but not now. He been deployed to many times.

  • Sandy

    Wow! Just W.O.W. Will see the movie without my husband (disabled from war).

  • gus

    confused people.

  • Trish

    Now that I’ve stopped crying…I want to thank Rebakah for saying what I felt after seeing the movie…that it is not only about the effects of war on the Warrior…but, the Silent Warrior at home. Families suffer a form of PTSD as well. Recent comments are saying this is an anti-war movie…wrong – it’s a tribute to the legacy of a Soldier who saved many lives and that of the Silent Warriors who hold it all together at home.

  • Gordon M.

    This story is so sad but necessary. Maybe, just maybe our young men and women might think twice before signing up. Killing people on both sides is evil anyway you cut it. Wake up!

    • Jason

      THEY (the enemy) wont stop–they will never stop. So Gordon….if no one signs up to defend YOU then who will stop them? Respect your opinion but couldnt disagree with it more.

      • Misty

        My thoughts EXACTLY Jason! Thank God for the young men & women that are willing to sign up to defend people as ignorant as some in our nation.

    • Steve

      So would you like us to stop killing them so they can just kill us? Because I will tell you with out a doubt they wont stop killing. You think America should just bring all its troops home and wait till they come to us? Do you want the war we fight to be in your backyard where your family will have to see it first hand? I know I don’t and that’s why I fight for my country because cowards like you wont but you will be the first to talk bad about the men and women that do.

    • Veteran

      Some people are sheep…

      • Retired Vet

        No…not some. The vast majority of Americans are sheep. That is why those of us who are/were professional warriors continue to be the sheepdog after taking off the uniform. Simply because it is right and just to protect those that cannot or too oblivious to protect themselves.

        • Merl

          I agree with you. Not everyone is wiling to be part of something bigger than themselves.

    • Megg

      That is what makes them the few and the proud, they are wiling to run into the fire, while people like YOU are running away! It is people like you that take everything we worked for to have for granted. Do you honestly think we WANT to kill people? How come you think our military come home and kill themselves? PTSD is something many live with and most die with. I don’t think that is something that someone WANTS, but it is again another sacrifice they make for YOU! We will always have enemies and if no one is there to defend YOU and the rest of us, then we would surely fall. I don’t know about you, but I like where I live and would like to keep it that way. God bless the military from one Marine Corps wife!

    • Jessica

      Gordon, your point is valid. Killing is terrible. I wish the world would move towards more civilized actions of higher thought. We are just Monkeys, if you take a BIG step back and look at all we have accomplished with wars. BUT until that day -if that day comes, when we wake up and realize that our world doesn’t and shouldn’t rely on greed and suppression, we will still have a war to fight. We still need our troops.

    • chibi_sarah

      ya um wow, I think we all wish for world peace and wish everyone everywhere could just stop fighting and killing, but um realistically, it’s NEVER going to end. Evil is always gonna exist and there will always be some douche around to just not let you exist.

  • usmc3529wifey

    I have read the book, not seen the movie yet. I was not married to my husband during his service years, but I have had the benefit of dealing with the aftermath of war. I know that I must be some special kind of woman to have missed being his constant or his “home” when he got back from war, yet I deal with the PTSD on a daily basis now, I can’t imagine life during the war time. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those special wives that deal with it all. I can’t wait to see the movie after reading the book!

    • Sue

      I, too, met my husband after he returned from war, in this case, Vietnam. We met on an Army base in Germany where I was stationed in 1974. I knew he was suffering from PTSD probably 25 years before he started getting help from VA. He was one of those silent sufferers; never shared anything. Through therapy and meds, he became the kind of husband and father I knew he could be. Along with PTSD, he is living with the effects of Agent Orange as in heart issues and Parkinson’s. We just celebrated our 39th anniversary!

      • Adrienne

        Mine too is sick from agent orange with PD and dementia. I see our young men starting their military careers going off to boot camp at Parris island, coming home for 10 days leave looking so young and handsome in their uniforms and the young girls going nuts over them. I think to myself how I’m on the other end. Living with the reality of what war is. Of when they come home. Bodies broken…

  • Tiffany

    Maybe, just maybe, we don’t need to assign the movie with a political agenda and instead just appreciate the portrayal of reality and what our military and their families go through, whether you agree with the cause or not. Disagreeing with war doesn’t change what has happened and the fact that the current military generation is forever changed and damaged.

    • Jacque

      >>current military generation is forever changed and damaged

      As opposed to? If you think the Afgan and Iraqi wars were avoidable then you’re sadly mistaken. Everything is political, and within politics there is always an agenda. To think otherwise is foolish.

  • SSG Mendiola

    While stationed at Ft Hood(three tours) at one monthly retirement ceremony the CG said something that has always stuck on my mind. He said that we were not gathered there for the soldiers that we’re retiring because they had All volunteered to do their duty but rather We were there for the wives that stayed at home and raised kids alone while their husbands were deployed and the wives were the ones at home always taking care of the bills and kids and all other kinds of duties. That day we Saluted the wives Not the soldiers who had their non-volunteer wives.

    • Jessica

      Steve, are you a military wife?

      • Alix M

        Are you asking cause you’re curious or because he’s male? Why does it matter if it’s the latter? Semper Fi is harmless.

        • Jessica

          Alix, the Steve I was asking has removed his comment, or it was removed for him,about wives needing to “GTFO!” Now, ‘I’m afraid, I will never know.

    • CPO USN

      BRAVO ZULU SSG Mendiola

      • david d

        My family was the only reason I had one. My wife deserved more credit than me…she was the one that held down the household and made sure I had a home to come back to. She was the one that basically raised 2 of my 3 girls on her own while wondering when and if I would return. Yes indeed my wife is more of a warrior than me. She was the one that allowed me to focus on the mission at hand!!!!!

    • Lisa

      That seems pretty disrespectful towards those soldiers there who weren’t married. Who made it through on their own who may have had friends and family to lean on but not a spouse. I can understand putting a word in for the spouses out there but to make it seem like it was all on them delivers the wrong message in my opinion towards those who aren’t married and have made it through all the same.

  • Seabed Wife

    While I personally have made the decision not to watch the movie just yet, I applaud the Kyle family for giving the perspective of what the families really go through.

  • Tonya

    This was beautiful. I’m the granddaughter of a WWII vet (who was among those at Normandy on D-Day) and niece of soldier who served two tours in Vietnam, and mother of son who never met his grandfather since we lost him when his plane was shot in Vietnam where he served as a Marine. I know nothing but respect and pride for our warriors. I am grateful to wives like you, too. I think of my grandmother who never spoke of what she endured waiting for that war to end. As a young girl, I still remember how we had to gently awaken my grandfather from his nightmares. He never talked about the war. He didn’t have to. We were there for him. Thank you Rebekah for your compassionate piece. Thank you to your husband too for his service. I haven’t yet seen the movie. I will.

  • Lynette Brown

    I was married to an Air Force flight engineer for 13 years. He served 4 tours in Vietnam. It was not called PTSD then but it was the same. When I watched American Sniper I could relate to his wife, holding down the fort while he away protecting my country. We had our babies, fixed problems, said many prayers and waited anxiously for the homecomings. Our men give their all for their country and it take a good, strong, loving wife to keep him up. My husband served for 17 years. He died in that 17th year still active service, of a heart attack. When I shop at the commissary/BX and see all these young wives I reminisce. I miss those times and always will.

    • June

      I want to add my appreciation and thanks for your comments. I to was holding down the home front and raising 4 daughters while their Father was in Viet Nam fighting for their future life of freedom. I am proud to be a (Ret) Army Wife.

  • Allison

    Thank you thank you thank you. This was beautifully written. It sums up my life exactly and in such an honest and heartfelt way. Thank you.

  • Ryan

    thank you for putting into words how I feel. It’s hard to explain to anyone what it’s like to be a “warriors wife”. I have not seen the movie yet and don’t know if I will be seeing it anytime soon as this is still my life. I rather pretend the husband is on a beach in Hawaii getting sunburned and drinking too much;) I thank God everyday for men like him. And I thank you for painting such an accurate depiction of a tiny part of our existence.

  • Shelly

    I am not sure about viewing this movie. I have a lot of mixed feelings. I was a Navy wife at 17 an Intensive care nurse to the Veterans for 13 years. Remarried after my 1st marriage of 23 years ended 5 years later to a Senior chief of the Navy. So navy is in my blood. Listening to his stories of 21 years of service at sea just makes me sad. The men and women who served our country do not get a fraction of respect from the medical care to job security they don’t have. But as he says with such humility somebody had to do it.

  • John

    Well spoken. From a 1st Cav officer, Vietnam, 1969. I’ve seen the elephant – seen it all. Lost a lot of good friends over there. The wives have to sit back and bear all the waiting and suffering – I know. Military wives are bastions of strength for the Warriors and the family. May God bless and protect all.

  • T-Bar

    As one who has served this great country of ours for more than 40 years as a Marine, I agree – but I will not ever be able to sit in a theater to watch this movie. I have however listened to the book by Chris on audio recently and only then learned I knew him from Iraq [I did not know his true name then]. I’m proud to say he and his group saved my bacon too many times to count. As it is I do my part for the cause working with veteran’s wives, and veterans as well, in transition from war, as a non-clinician, learning how to manage the adverse effects of our services. For those with negative responses here all I can say is – shame on you – how dare you judge that which you can never understand. Finally, I want to say that, if it were not for the incredible support of my wife I dare say I might not be here today to write this. Semper Fi

    • John

      Hooah!

    • Steve

      Semper Fi

      • Monte

        Gung-ho,Gung-ho,Gung-ho I to am A Marine (1962-66) Very well spoken. Keep the faith MARINES

    • anonymous

      Thank you for your service

    • Proud Vet, X Army wife, and Proud Generations Strong Military Brat

      Hooah, wise words indeed!
      Idk if I can watch this movie, if I do it will be alone in my home so I can process all of my emotions from all sides that I experienced it on my on time frame safely with out judgement of onlookers. My prayers and well wishes to my fellow brothers and sisters in arms and fellow family members in support. Spread the word, only we can help save ourselves and stop the 22 lives a day!

  • NavyBlue

    Very well written and thought provoking article. Thank you.

  • Army-wife

    Although this was a well written article, I do not agree on how you felt about the couple and their kids! It’s people like you that judge too quick of how disgusted you guys were just because they had their kids there! My husband who is currently in the Army, deployed once and I took our four children to watch American Sniper which are all young! Because we had no one to watch our kids and it was something for me and the hubby to do along with our kids since we are both busy with work! So When it came to parts like kissing and parts that I felt was not for my kids to see I made sure their eyes were closed! But it don’t mean we are bad parents or so you say disgusting couple! Please get to know the family situation first before judging too quickly! Other than that thank you for this article!

    • Jessica

      I don’t have kiddos, although we did get pregnant and lost the baby in the 2nd trimester. Point being, I’ve thought lots about what kind of parent I would/could have been. My mind opened a bit, after the loss. I’ve seen lots of parents (including my own) who keep their kids’ eyes off of nearly everything that could taint their innocent minds. Truth is, they can’t be sheltered. They will only feel like they have no option for opinion, no way to understand. They might find out the truth about the hardships of life in a violent or unexpected way, leaving them unprepared and traumatized. Perhaps they sleepover or sneak away to a friends’ house to play violent video games, while the parents think they’re playing with Tinkertoys. With either argument, however, it is up to the parents. We should respect that, as we don’t have entitlement over someones kids that aren’t our own. Opinions are just that.

      • Guest

        Jessica, I’m sorry for your loss, and can see you have a broader perspective because of your experience. There are so many “right” ways to parent; you are correct. However, there are norms; good judgment about developmentally appropriate activities, parental responsibilty, and the “R” – rating are a baseline for a parent to make the proper decision to NOT take young children to see this movie. In fact, children can be sheltered from many, many things, and the very least a parent is responsible for is making the simplest of decisions like what will be seen as a “family movie”.

    • artymgysgt

      The film is rated “R” enough said for children not watching “American Sniper”

    • Guest

      Wrong!– Army-wife—Just Wrong! This is not an appropriate movie for young children. Can’t believe you actually publicly admitted to this poor behavior, AND decided to reprimand someone for not understanding your family situation. —Your family situation? Umm. . . you have a job; you have a family. There are plenty of other family-oriented activities to decide to do even “with being busy with work”. You handled the kissing in the movie; really? Kissing is the least of the objectionable reasons for young children to NOT see this movie. Frankly, having your children cover their eyes as a way to make an experience “okay”, when the movie is grossly beyond their developmental level, is as concerning as your lack of good judgment to give in to your spontaneous needs to see a movie for YOU, and qualify it with immature rationalization.—And, then to have the unmitigated gall because someone made a rather mild—BUT CORRECT–comment on a family who brought their young children to this movie. Wow! You are not complex. There is NOTHING for the movie audience to know about your family situation “before judging too quickly” . We “know” you completely. A little parenting advice . . . if there is no one to watch your kids, then stay home and read a parenting book.

      • Army-Wife

        To Guest! Don’t you dare try and twist my words or try to put what I’m saying here in whatever you want to think this whole comment was about! Go find someone else to lecture or give advice and please stop with the parenting advice! FYI I am a PROUD and DAMN GREAT MOM to MY KIDS! So don’t you dare sit behind your computer screen acting like you know me and telling me what I should do! But I’m sorry and you are??? Hmmm…Go do something useful with your irrelevant self! I’m done! Freedom of speech, right?!

        • Alix M

          There’s a lot of concerned parents who protect their children from war and violence until they’re older. There’s a difference between Animated Disney movies and hardcore realistic violence. If I were not able to find babysitter, I’d decide to see the movie another day. It doesn’t matter whether the kids understand what’s going on, it only matters whether they’ll have nightmares or be terrified of loud noises, etc… You can’t predict those things, so why take that chance?

          • Jessica

            Alix, you made a good point. My father TOLD me that the clown in IT was real, when I was about 5. It haunted me for years. If he had told me that it wasn’t real, I might have still been afraid. When it comes to a movie like American Sniper, are the parents who take their kids to see it going to tell them that it’s “not real”? I doubt it. And even if they did, a movie like AS at that age could have frightened me more than IT did. Or perhaps given me a twisted idea about the real world. A childs imagination runs wild.

          • Army-Wife

            Thanks! But my kids are perfectly fine and raised in a well mannered and respectful family who put God first and family second! What makes me angry is when people have something to say about other parents and their parenting! Judging the couple and how disgusted they were! But we are all entitled to our opinions! This is how I feel so if you do not agree with it than I’m sorry for voicing my thoughts on how I felt about the part when they were disgusted of the couple and also how fat people looked!!! Don’t you think that’s a lot of judgement there?!

          • Jessica

            Putting “God first” does not define a well-mannered family. “God” has extremist followers and are the whole reason why wars get started in the first place. Profit and Power are a bonus. I don’t know that if there was/is a God, that he/she/it would be happy with the way the world uses he/she/it as an excuse for ignorance. I will probably be called an athiest, devil-worshiping heathen for saying that. Just know that I won’t take any further comments on the subject of “God” very seriously. So you can choose to waste your time if you want. It’s all just opinions anyway.

          • guest

            AH HEM…all I gotta say is she needs to remember the Crusades.

          • Army-Wife

            To Guest! Don’t know what God you are talking about or naming?! But let me tell you, the God I’m referring too is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! All three in one who created the heaven and the earth and created human life! Which he gave his only son to die on the cross so that we may be free of sins! Thank you very much!

          • guest

            Exactly, you don’t seem to understand that there are many, many, MANY gods in the world. So essentially what you are saying is that if someone doesn’t believe in YOUR god, then they can’t be a “well mannered” or “respectful” family. That…right there….points to religious radicalism. You somehow feel that you, and your family, are better then other people, and apparently always in the right, because you put your interpretation of a god ahead of everything.

    • afpunisherwife

      1 Cor 10:23 “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. Matt 18:6
      But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.Let your example to others be a light to the world instead of a perplexing example of pride. I think you may need to re-prioritized ‘date night’

  • MVerett

    Gut wrenching.. Not going to see it, but I’m sure it is very well done. Too close to home.

    • Jessica

      Putting “God first” does not define a well-mannered family. “God” has extremist followers and are the whole reason why wars get started in the first place. Profit and Power are a bonus. I don’t know that if there was/is a God, that he/she/it would be happy with the way the world uses he/she/it as an excuse for ignorance. I will probably be called an athiest, devil-worshiping heathen for saying that. Just know that I won’t take any further comments on the subject of “God” very seriously. So you can choose to waste your time if you want. It’s all just opinions anyway.

    • Jessica

      Putting “God first” does not define a well-mannered family. “God” has extremist followers and are the whole reason why wars get started in the first place. Profit and Power are a bonus. I don’t know that if there was/is a God, that he/she/it would be happy with the way the world uses he/she/it as an excuse for ignorance.

      • Army-Wife

        Jessica Honey my God is Awesome! am not afraid to say that other wise! Yes my dear putting “God First” in everything defines everything of a well mannered family! But good for you and your opinions, everyone has their own reasons!

  • LAW

    I won’t go see it, I just can’t right now. I am disheartened by the politicization of the movie… Can we not just agree that Chris was a wonderful father, husband and veteran. He did his job – he did it to the peak of his ability.

    and I agree 100% with NOT taking children to movies like this.

  • marinemom

    I am a Marine mom- who chose to see this movie- reluctantly at first because I don’t usually like “war” movies. But, now I can say after seeing it that it was Excellent. First of all, I knew that it would be done professionally- depicted well because of Clint Eastwood as the director. Secondly, I knew that Bradley Cooper would depict Chris Kyle accurately- as he did. The movie was done in a way that made me think of many things; the war effects on our soldiers, relationships with families/wives at home, being torn between honoring your country vs. your family. War and deployment is not easy for the soldier as well as the family members back at home.
    To me- Chris Kyle is a hero as well as his wife and his family members.

  • Hayley

    6 tours and sadly PTSD took my marriage. I’m glad I saw the movie b/c it really did show all sides of what war can do to a family. My now ex-Husband is still active duty and we are still very close but unfortunately we were the “other” casualty of war. I am happy to say that he is finally getting the help and my Son is finally getting his Daddy back. Thank you for your article.

  • SSS

    I found the movie extremely powerful – both for his dedication to his mission and for her dedication to their family. As I’ve heard before ‘Anybody can be a civilian’ and this movie shows why. They say 99% of Americans now don’t even know anyone in the military personally but this story, and all the countless others, give them a glance into the lives of their defenders.

  • Mary

    Just a note that women are now a part of special forces, and have spouses. There are many female soldiers who now are or will be with millitary operations and in harms way. Therefore most, but not all spouses are wives, as my family members can attest.

  • ANGspouse

    Knowing what some of the Vietnam veterans went through, the families were blindsided when they returned. The memories of the horrors they faced. Having my late husband deployed to Afghanistan, I was always fearful of what could happen. I haven’t seen this movie, but will sometime after Friday – which is the anniversary of his my husband’s death (due to Multiple Myeloma). God bless you all!

    • deb

      So sorry for your loss. God bless and comfort you. My brother-in-law died of multiple myeloma Jan 17 2014.

  • Bill

    Great emotion, vividly honest, my wife and I just came home from seeing this great movie. I was with the 1st Cavalry Division 65-66, that was the last draftee war, we were soldiers too…shame on you Michael Moore for saying snipers are cowards..FIRST TEAM.. God bless the wives..God Bless You All

    • John

      C Co, 2/12, 1st Cav, III Corps, 69-70. First Team! Hooah!

  • Lisa

    Excellent view point! I just saw this movie and as a military wife I certainly could identify with Taya’s experience. This movie was both thought provoking & brought back emotions I hadn’t felt in some time. The Kyle’s are all HERO’S in my book.

  • ryan

    It takes a special kind if self entitlement mentality to make this movie about them. It really does.

  • Shannon Tracy

    As a wife of a National Guardsman who is currently deployed for our first time–I am speechless…I can’t even think of anything to say other than God bless all of those who serve and all of the selfless families and their sacrifices. Thank you!!

  • T-Bar

    . . . and by the way one and all, please remember that “spouses” would be an appropriate term instead of “wives” because not all combat veterans are male – I had the pleasure of serving with quite a few female service members and I have a number of them in the support groups I facilitate. Semper Fi.

    • Alix M

      I agree with saying spouses. I’m not entirely sure why wives was emphasized more; both wives AND husbands go through these hardships.

      • Rebekah Sanderlin

        Just a note on the word “wives”: When I wrote this piece I wrote it from the perspective of infantry/combat arms — thus “wives”. The headline was changed to be more all inclusive — and I’m glad for that. It did not occur to me that the experiences were so universal and that so many not in the combat arms world would relate. My heart is warmed to see so many from different services, MOS’ & perspectives relating and sharing here. Had I realized that this piece would have such a broad reach and appeal, I most definitely would have gone with the gender neutral “spouses”. I certainly meant no disrespect by the word choice.

        • Lisa

          When it comes to that, something to keep in mind is that while the actual combat arms MOSs haven’t been opened up to women yet (if at all, only time will tell), there have been many females attached to infantry/combat arms/Special Forces/SEALs/MARSOC, etc who have gone on missions and such very similar to some of these. Especially through the advent of the female engagement/cultural support team programs and the females in Civil Affairs and PSYOP which fall under Special Operations so they often get attached to SF teams (I know of several who have gone on missions due to proving their capability. We lost a friend a little over a year ago who was attached to the Rangers through the Cultural Support Team on a direct action mission for example. Even regular medics will at times be connected to these units and there are definitely females working in special mission units that aren’t spoken of so that’s why some would take a little step back when seeing the emphasis on wives rather than spouses. (There’s also the fact that I’m actually good friends with two of my husband’s friends who are gay, both of which are SF and married to men and I know one of them also has a gay SEAL buddy who is not yet married but someday I’m sure once he’s ready to settle down with someone.)

  • Thanks Rebekah for sharing. You are a gifted writer.

  • Lynne Ettleman

    Thank you for saying this. My husband is retired Navy and we saw the movie together. It affected me on so many levels. I could not talk to him for about 30 minutes and cried the whole way home. When we did talk I told him that for the most part when he was deployed I knew he was fairly safe. Early on in his career not having email back then not hearing from him for many weeks when they were involved in conflict was the hardest thing I dealt with. I also told him that I have so much more respect for the wives of ground troop soldiers and truly not knowing when you will get that knock on the door is more than I can wrap my mind around but I guess that is what we sign on for. God Bless the troops and their families.

  • Snowflake

    “…it takes a special kind of woman to let him” And a special kind to take him back knowing he repeatedly cheats. That he starts a relationship with an exotic beauty each time he leaves country. It takes a special kind of woman to sweep it under the rug and live a lie. You inspire so many wives. You may do more good by reaching out with your truths. Sadly for so many women on the other end of operators their truth is your own. It’s a hard life. For the woman at home, for the “other” woman, for the kids and for the operator himself. Bless them all.

  • Alix M

    Was the fat people comment really necessary? Who cares what people look like in theater in relevance to a military? I completely agree that parents should not ever take kids at that age to any war, violent, or R-rated movie, but why are you judging what people look like?

    • guest

      Yes! I agree totally about, “I completely agree that parents should not ever take kids at that age to any war, violent, or R-rated movie” I wondered about the “fat” comment in the article, too, but I’m replying, because of the ignorance of the woman in the “reply” section who took her kids to the movie.

      • Alix M

        I understand. It’s just ridiculous. You can’t predict how a child is going to be feeling as he or she gets older.

        • Army-Wife

          Alix M- God bless you too! But tell me who is predicting?

          • Alix M

            The parent(s)

      • Army-Wife

        Guest God Bless you!

        • guest

          Aaahh the christian passive aggressive F off statement….your viciousness to other commenters isn’t very christian like ;-)

  • Julie

    I’m an army wife. My husband was medically retired from injuries sustained in Iraq. He did two tours and 12 years active duty. He suffers also from PTSD…he heard a conversation from people talking about this movie and it was so disturbing to him that it kicked his PTSD in high gear. Some of the conversation were people wondering how anybody could do to a child what was seen in the movie. He cannot watch any kind of war movie anymore, he has an emotional break down if he is asks to attend a funeral and almost always ends up not attending, not because he doesn’t care but because it brings back too many painful memories. Last night, after hearing all the negativity about this movie, he broke down and had another restless night. Crying out in his sleep, tossing and turning. Today, I was going through some totes and came across all the letters he had written yo me from Iraq. I sat in our living room and bawled for about an hour. I came across newspaper clippings I had saved from the 3rd cavalry at Fort Carson (his unit). This movie has brought out alot of emotion all over the country. When it all comes down to it, they all fought the same war, they all did their job, many didn’t make it home. I will never forget the name, the face, and the funeral of the first casualty as well as others at Fort carson. Melissa Givens, almost 8 mos pregnant when her husband died. Sget Bertolino, left behind a wife and 4 small children from a mission he volunteered to take that day to give My husband a break. I know every soldier, wife and family have their own stories. Some will never be heard.

    • Ashley B

      This is exactly what I go through with my husband. Its has been so emotional for us I am praying for all combat veterans and their families during times like these, when everything that we try to move past (but never get over ever) come to the surface. When everything that they have went through is starring them in the face. I especially pray for those currently deployed, ad the families that have lost their loved ones.

    • T-Bar

      Julie, I wish I could give you my contact information so your husband and I can talk – but that is not permitted I guess. Hang tough, keep up the support, read the books “Tears of a Warrior” and “Down Range”, and please seek out a Peer Led, Peer Support Recovery Program in your area so you and your warrior can live and not just survive.

  • Ashley B.

    How in the world were you able to see this movie with your husband? Mine got back in 2011 and I know he cant handle it? PTSD has been such a struggle does it ever ease up?

  • Guest

    This movie is an example of why military careers should be shorter, or those who have been to combat should not be sent back. Any civilian who sees this film will wonder why anyone would marry a person in the military, and wonder why people in the military care less about the lives of their families than going back to war on a personal mission.

  • Cari

    Rebekah Sanderlin, Thank you…thank you for your post, for the tears that are coursing down my cheeks at this moment, for the true honesty of a military wife. Being one isn’t easy….being married to a retired Army officer who spent most of our marriage deployed…feeling that pit in my stomach the first time he was deployed, to Panama, coming to where I worked and both he and my boss coming into the back room to tell me I had to drive him to post, my husband was being sent “away” for an unknown amount of time. Getting to the airfield, the hard hug to his chest, whispers in my ear of “I love you”, slipping his will and papers into my hand as he boards the plane, ruck sack, M16, strong camouflage covered back going into the belly of that plane.

    No, military isn’t for everyone and only the strong woman survive what their husbands do. I have seen so many marriages fail, one or the other unwilling to work for it, to fight, to love, to cry, to understand….I would of no more let go of my husband than I would of cut my hand off. When I married him, it was for life, for better AND for worse and we have done so together. We have backbones of steel, a baptism by fire so to speak. There are not many of us wives who can say we stayed for the long haul, but for those of us who did, we are better for it and we are a sisterhood.

    Your right, you get use to those smears of camouflage paint, of canvas tent smell on his uniforms, his hands, the middle of the night calls to come in or the sudden deployments. How many birthdays and anniversaries missed? The late night calls from somewhere unknown simply to say I love you, kiss the kids and will be home soon, or the broken promises and dates they should of been home but were not? I think I will never smell boot polish and not remember being pregnant with our 2nd child, a boy, and asking that he go into the living room to polish his shoes/boots because that smell made me sick for hours. Memories….good and bad, they are ours to cherish.

    • tina

      My husband did a tour and most of the wife’s were glue to the TV to see if they could get a glimpse of their husband that were deployed.That TV was on all day and night on news, that means their children were watching it as well. Most kids were way to young to understand, but they still had nightmares over what they saw. I kept my TV on cartoons all day I didn’t want my children to know. But they still knew from school and friends. My middle child was so afraid daddy wouldn’t come home she was cutting herself. So the children suffer as well, but nobody talks about them.

  • Rebekah Sanderlin

    Thank you all for your comments. I’m reading every one of them. I truly did not expect such a large response to this piece. Best of all are the comments from Vietnam vets and their spouses sharing their common experiences and the supportive comments you all are leaving for each other. I’m so honored to be a part of this community.

  • lisoo

    Thank you for sharing and writing that Rebekah.

  • Catherine Shields

    I’m a retired Navy wife, Ombudsman for the Navy and worked for the Air Force at Langley, I have children and grandchildren in the military, but that movie was so on board, the reality unreal, I’m thankful that we have men and women like Chris that help watch over our family members, I know a lot of vets that are going through PTSD, that are getting help, yes some cost them there marriage, friends, jobs, I’m just thankful they get hit home with this movie, and that the military see that it’s some that needs to be dealt with, I’m scared everyday for these people over there fighting for us to be safe here, but I remember where I was on 911, and as a navy wife, I’m proud of my husband and all the military families I got to know through the years, especially the wives, May they all rest in peace that we lost, serving are country.

  • Clark County Politics

    Deep breath.

    One of the things that I disliked about this was the wife’s incessant whining.

    She didn’t marry the Good Humor Man. She married a goddamned SEAL, an artisan at his craft, one of the finest who ever lived… and there were times when I was watching this that I was thinking SHE was a weight around his neck and SHE made him feel guilty for what he was doing… what he was trained to do… and what he did better than almost anyone whoever lived.

    She knew what was up going in. She knew what he was, what he did, how he did it.

    In fact, I thought that if anything, it was primer on how NOT to be a “military wife” when it comes to your real job about the military subject: supporting your husband as a warfighter.

    The meme on the page: “It takes a special kind of woman to let him,” made me want to throw up.

    The woman can’t stop him. Kyle’s wife didn’t stop him if the portrayal is accurate… he stopped himself.

    As I watched the flick, the thought occured to me: How much different the outcomes might have been if he had remained single.

    Deep breath/off.

    • What?!?!

      The meme of your comment: “It’s all womens’ fault all the time.”

      Seriously ladies – do not give your support to this kind of guy – ever! If your “Warfighter” does not recognize the sacrifices you have made to support him or her – HE/SHE does not deserve YOU!”

      And if the military as an institution does not recognize the sacrifices of military spouses, the institution does not deserve our support either. Good luck trying to man a professional military with competent leaders willing to serve a lengthy career with only single men who have no families!

      • Jessica

        Huzzah!

      • Clark County Politics

        I’m sorry. I was unaware that she had graduated from spouse school and had been shot at in defense of her country.

        I’ll be more educated when the movie comes out about her.

        He was one of the very, very few people on this planet who could do what he did.

        Anyone can be a spouse. This was his life and she signed on with his choices… not the other way around.

    • Guest

      Um, remember, he married HER too, she didn’t just choose to marry him. He took vows too, to HER, just as much as she took vows to him. In return, he continued to pursue a job that put the wellbeing of his family in jeopardy. Let’s not lose sight of all of that. At a certain point, a grown man has to decide what he loves more: his family or his job. He should decided that BEFORE getting married.

      • guest

        Agreed. If anyone has a job-mil or otherwise–that destroys the fabric of their family or regularly leaves their spouse in tears, it’s time to “man up” and find a new job.

        • Clark County Politics

          Disagree. If she didn’t like it, she should have walked away before they got married. He had the BUD on his chest when he got married. Let that be a warning to you, ladies.

        • Lisa

          Honestly I’d say that’s easier said than done and maybe an easier sentiment coming from someone who probably hasn’t felt that call to go above and beyond in the military. I’m not saying that the regular conventional Army doesn’t have it’s hardships but someone choosing to go into special operations is usually doing it for much more than it just being a job. Putting so much blood, sweat, and tears into something (not just war itself but the HUGE amount of training just to get to that level and earn that role in the military) and going to war with your brothers (and sisters) doesn’t make it as easy as just finding a new job because your spouse isn’t happy anymore. He did eventually “give it up” but it was a huge decision to make and isn’t one that weighs easy on anyone in that position even if it makes things easier for the spouse to have the service member home again.

      • Clark County Politics

        Forgive me if I disagree.

        He was a SEAL, not a mechanic. He had a vocation… not unlike marrying a minister.

        He was one of the rare human beings that could do what he did the way he did it.

        You seem to view this as being the exact same thing as marrying an accountant. It isn’t.

        In this case, he DID decide, and SHE agreed when SHE married him knowing full well what he was about and what his commitment to his vocation truly meant. SHE should have decided before SHE married HIM. But on a page like this, that’s a concept that’s unacceptable.

        And that’s a shame. But it’s pretty clear that if you say what you believe to be the truth and it doesn’t fit the meme? Well, a bunch of folks who never spent day one in a uniform are ready to tell you ALL about it.

        • guest

          Uuuuh and those of us that married our guys in regular military MOS’s who then decided after the marriage to join these elite units? How does that fit into your “bad spousey” blame game?

    • guest

      Now I may have a different perspective on this since my husband is currently in one of these more intense units, and I ALSO have a career that sends me on travel a lot. My entire “job” in life is not to support my husband the warfighter in whatever whim he has that day, it’s to provide for my family, as it his his duty to as well, and to sit and work out a compromise with our careers that allows both of us to attain our long term goals.

      Dude, you are SO off base. It goes to show that you’ve never actually been in the environment these men are in, you are completely clueless. Yes, there are some woman that simply can’t handle the stress, his TRAINING class had a 25% divorce rate….and guess what, not one of those folks actually made it into the unit, they all failed out. They couldn’t hold together their life, bills, houses and job, being gone 10 months out of the year without someone to pick up the slack.

      The guys in his unit will be the FIRST people to tell you that they actually do value what their families provide, a home base, a sense of normalcy, a reason to live when things get tough. The number of times my husband, and his friends, have said that the thing that keeps them sane when they are on the 4th day without sleep, doing yet another marathon, is the thought of the family at home. Hell, during SERE my husband told me he spent most of the time thinking of me and the dog, said it made SERE a breeze.

      Many of us, like me, support our husbands in their endeavors, HOWEVER, that does NOT mean we don’t expect to come first once in a while. A marriage where man and mission come first 100% of the time, isn’t a marriage. As I told my husband when he opted to go for A&S (well after we were married), I want a husband, not a part time roommate. That is NOT what a marriage is about and that balancing act is something we have to work on every week.

      You sound very bitter towards women in general, and frankly like a chauvinistic pig. Please do everyone a favor and do not get married, you would only succeed in making life difficult for any potential partner.

      • Clark County Politics

        “My entire “job” in life is not to support my husband the warfighter in whatever whim he has that day.”

        Odd. You believe that someone could be a Chris Kyle on a whim?

        That’s where I stopped reading your post, because anything after that speaks to a frightening level of both arrogance and ignorance.

        I freely admit that my years in Recon were relatively sedate compared to his efforts. But at the end of the day, the military is that exception to the rule that you obviously do not understand.

        You married a soldier. Or a sailor. Or an airman. Or a Marine.

        It’s not a job. It’s a vocation. It’s a total commitment. It requires a focus unlike anything those who haven’t bolted on a uniform will ever know, a focus that can be interrupted by incessant whining.

        That you and so many others apparently fail or are otherwise incapable of understanding that fundamental element is part and parcel of the exploding divorce rate.

        Don’t like the life? Don’t marry a servicemember. Because when you do, knowing going in what the requirements are?

        You lose any right to whine or complain.

        You will also note that in the end, you were unable to avoid a personal attack that flies in the face of the facts, which are that I have been happily married for quite some time now, have 2 kids in college and one in law school.

        To that end, the only thing exceeding your arrogance is your ignorance.

        • Rebekah Sanderlin

          I feel the need to weigh in on this discussion — probably against my better judgment. :-)

          I truly believe – to the very deepest part of my core – that the statements “Clark County Politics” (Please, if you believe so strongly in this, man up and post using your real name.) has made here are the main reason why it is so difficult for military spouses to feel comfortable asking for help. These sorts of statements ARE THE REASON military spouses are killing themselves. They ARE THE REASON military spouses like this one do horrible things because of the ridiculous stress: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Police-Mother-

          And so why do you make these statements, “Clark County Politics”? Because empathy is so hard to extend? Because it costs you to give it? What, exactly, do you gain by saying these things? What would you lose by acknowledging that this woman or anyone like her has a heavier-than-standard burden to bear? Playing amateur psychologist, my guess is that it has something to do with your own guilt for what you’ve likely put your own family through…

          The real truth is this: No one, anywhere, knows 100% what they are getting into. Military wives receive no special training, and being clairvoyant is most definitely not a requirement for a military spouse. No one knows what they are getting into. No one knows what they are getting into. No one knows what they are getting into. (Maybe I should say it a few more times?)

          To any spouses reading this, particularly those who feel beat up by this jerk’s comments: He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Ignore him and soldier on. I’ve got your back.

        • guest

          Hey, my husband IS a Chris Kyle…He’s a different MOS but same element. If you could have a bit of reading comprehension you may have picked that up. I’ve also been active duty.

          And yea..he DID decide on a whim one day to go out for this AFTER we were married. He got “bored” and started looking at a way to do more and threw himself into this.

          I have nothing but the greatest of pity for your wife and kids….they must be entirely miserable, or beat down. EIther that or you are like 60 and still stuck in the 1950’s where the little wifey should be barefoot and pregnant.

          Newsflash, that’s not the world we live in anymore. It is NOT a wife’s sole responsibility in this life to dutifully follow whatever the “man” of the house decides while providing some shined shoes, dinner and a night cap as the highlight of her day.

      • Lisa

        I love and support my husband’s career. We’re dual military so while I’m not in a unit like his (also an “intense” one if that’s how we’re going to refer to those types of units) I do intimately understand his calling to the job. We find a way to make our time but I understand when he can’t bet here for/with me. BUT while I do think it’s good for those who have a family to go home to, I also know plenty of his friends in these same units who are either divorced or never been married who have also made it through the rough training, the deployments, etc and have been able to hold their lives together. They have plenty to live for and look forward to in coming home whether it’s from Afghanistan or SERE even without having a spouse at home. I think it’s pretty dismissive to say that someone without a spouse can’t hold it together. Maybe some can’t but that only represents your experience.

  • Patrick Doyle

    Being a veteran Eastwood should be ashamed of himself profiting from brave a soldier like Chris Kyle, but thats hollywood for you, always thinking of the bottom line, the almighty buck.

  • hmichaelh

    Excellent, Excellent, Excellent article about the impact on military families when Warriors go off to war.

    When my son deployed to Iraq, Al Asad, as a fighter pilot at the base where all Land-based Marine aviation was deployed, I knew my Daughter-in-Law, left in Yuma, AZ, was the super Marine Wife who would take care of their family. I did not know the details of the challenges facing her, which included her active support for all the other Marine families left behind.

    No one knew the absolute fear of a father I experienced as we dined in Baltimore just before taking him to BWI where he flew to Iraq. Shaking his hand at the curb of BWI, and getting back in my car to drive home, was an emotional pain I cannot describe to you. He’s a very difficult person to say “I love you, and I’m proud of you” to, but I wasn’t going to let him go off to war without knowing that. And every day he was there, flying combat missions, I awoke each morning worrying about his safety. Imagine what his wife must have awoken to each morning?

    I am disturbed by the controversy about this film. It is difficult for me to imagine cowardly, famous people, who have never experienced life in the military, have such hostility towards this film. I suspect the film validates their impotence and cowardice as men. I am angry with them for what they are doing to our Country, and ashamed of them for their ignorance and lack of Patriotism. Perhaps this essay by Rebekah Sanderlin will change the awful and flawed attitude some have about America in general…..but I doubt it.

    For those of us who have had the experience, we appreciate what is written here. It tells our story.

  • Erin

    The author of this article is smug. My husbands an operator and I get fed up of the fellow wives acting like we are better than others for it. Writing articles that no one understands them and how we face so many things that no one can understand. Constantly tooting their own horn about how strong they are, making people acknowledge their sacrifice. Like you said you entered into this. We are not special. Our husbands job is not our job. Like any wife we are just trying to support their dream. The comments she made about her fellow movies goers being overweight was unnecessary and adds to the tone of her holding herself above others. The comments you made about the parents behind you contributed my opinion that you are pompous. You can be proud of yourself and your husband without putting others down.

  • Lisa

    I appreciated a lot of aspects in the movie but it didn’t make me cry like some have. I liked that they got little details right such as the footwear he wore and even having witnessed similar things first-hand I still cringed at seeing one particular scene involving a child and wondered how civilians handled such scenes. My husband and I had some good discussions over it, we related to some of it while we felt other bits seemed dramatized for the sake of the movie (and others who knew Kyle and had been there at the same time have agreed). That’s bound to happen with Hollywood. Some of the parts regarding Taya bothered me and that was more in the sense that I hate when some of those guys over there call their spouses using satellite phone on mission. That is NOT the right time for it and the movie showed exactly why that is the case. If you’re skyping or calling home while on the FOB, outpost, firebase, or wherever you’re staying over there and it comes under attack then fine. That’s not always avoidable. However, a mission should be devoted to just that, not potentially distracting yourself while talking to someone at home. Spouses are bound to worry from time to time anyway because there’s an unknown factor of what is going on for their service member but having them actually hearing an attack going on while you’re on mission is unnecessary and something they aren’t trained to handle. It puts even more unneeded stress on them and exposes them to things that they aren’t prepared for and will then worry even more about than just wondering what may or may not be happening. I’m always half glad for technology to allow me or my husband to communicate more with home while deployed and half wishing it was like years ago when you got maybe a letter or a 5 minute phone call so troops weren’t distracted on mission and spouses weren’t pulled into the war through skype or a satellite call.

  • vivian barnes

    I watched the movie several times, it helps me know the things I am going through and experienced are normal, and that there is hope at the end. It does open the world u to the fight we have while trying to make sure our loved one comes home to a safe and secure environment. We are all different and react differently, but know exactly how Taya feels.