In 2011 — shortly after his book American Sniper’s release — Chris Kyle sat down with TIME Magazine to discuss his life and experiences while on tour in Iraq. Some portions of the interview have not been detailed until now.
Kyle — who was shot and killed by a fellow military man suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2013 — is at the center of the controversial, record-breaking film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper. The Clint Eastwood film is smashing previous box office records for January, and is now the biggest earner in history for this month, but this success has come with a lot of controversy, even as it continues to rule the box office for the second week in a row.
There are many things Chris Kyle had to say about his life and why he decided to write a book — even against the military’s wishes. The now-famous American sniper says his goal was to show, not only what the men that fight in the front lines have to go through, but most importantly how much their families sacrifice.
Thanks to the film and the book, we know that Chris and his wife Taya had a very close relationship and share two beautiful kids. The late Navy SEAL wanted readers to know about all the anonymous soldiers that have not received the Medal of Honor or written a book, but made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the American way of life and whose families have to move on without them.
“…But then also stories about my guys who deserve to be out there. They didn’t get the Medal of Honor so you don’t know about them, but they died heroes and people should know about them.”
Additionally, much has been talked about how Kyle apparently looked down on the Iraqis he was fighting and the movie seems to showcase that aspect of the conflict. In this particular interview, the American Sniper tells TIME exactly what he thinks about those — he calls them “savages” in his book — who he was sent to fight four times.
“They’re crooked. No matter how bad you think of our politicians, those people over there are worse. It’s honorable to lie to someone’s face instead of to look bad.”
Kyle discusses how he almost failed sniper school, as he calls it, and explains what it takes to be a “good shot.” It is clear that he is not looking for added attention and plays down his credentials, since his much publicized number of kills — 162 confirmed and many more suspected — didn’t make it in the book. The first kill he details in his book was that of a woman carrying a baby in one arm, while clutching a grenade in the other.
Chris Kyle went into great detail in this fascinating interview, explaining for our benefit, what it feels like to be an American sniper and kill unsuspecting human beings. It is clear that to him, it was his job and he was doing it to the best of his ability. To read the complete interview go to the TIME website.
[Image via Twitter]