There are many reasons to consider soldiers heroes, but “he was really good at killing” is not one.
I have not yet seen American Sniper, so I can’t comment directly on the film itself, but there’s something about the American public’s reaction that’s not sitting well with me. Chris Kyle is being hailed as a hero simply for being good with a gun while in uniform.
My dad killed people in Vietnam. Up close. I don’t know how many. He seldom talked about it and always refused to glorify his actions. They haunted him. Through example, he taught me the real value is instead in kindness, charity, humanity.
So when people applaud vets merely for their quality of violence, I grow sad and weary. We can honor duty, we should admire sacrifice, we can even accept the somber necessity of bloodshed. But let’s never glorify violence.
copyright 2015 David Cornelius all rights reserved