Showing posts with label American Sniper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Sniper. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

American Sniper Writer Directing "Thank You For Your Service"

‘American Sniper’ Writer Takes Reins of DreamWorks’ PTSD Drama From Steven Spielberg
The Wrap
By Jeff Sneider
June 30, 2015

Jason Hall will make his directorial debut with “Thank You for Your Service,” based on David Finkel’s nonfiction book

After earning an Oscar nomination for writing “American Sniper,” Jason Hall is in negotiations to make his directorial debut on another war-themed movie, DreamWorks’ PTSD drama “Thank You for Your Service,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

Steven Spielberg had previously been circling the director’s chair, though he recently signed on to direct “Ready Player One” for Warner Bros.

Hall already adapted “Thank You for Your Service,” which is based on the nonfiction book by David Finkel that was published in October 2014.
read more here

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Father of Marine Struggles After Suicide

ABC 7 News
By Chuck Goudie and Christine M. Tressel
May 28, 2015
Two days before he died, Cole had asked his dad to watch "American Sniper," a riveting war memoir.

"He said it portrays very well the kind of meltdown psychologically of a guy doing what he was doing," Tom Van Dorn said. "He said that's him, making these decisions on who lives and who dies."
ARLINGTON, Va. (WLS) -- Tom Van Dorn, a pianist and composer, wrote music for a video he made about his son's first deployment. He can no longer bear to watch it.

On April 8, his 29-year-old son, Staff Sgt. Cole Van Dorn, was found dead at his home in Southern California. He was being treated for PTSD and taking about a dozen drugs, his father said.

Two thousand miles away in west suburban Bloomingdale, his father got the terrible news. He had just spoken to his son a couple days before.

He never thought his son was suicidal.

"I'm guessing that it was 30 hours later that he died," Tom Van Dorn said.

One in five service members have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Government data says there are 300,000 servicemembers with PTSD, depression or brain trauma after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At least 22 veterans commit suicide each day, according to the Veterans Administration.

"Treat these Marines -- whoever is in charge -- like this is your kid," said Tom Van Dorn. "That's all I want."
read more here

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

American Sniper UCLA Conversation They Missed

UCLA missed the conversation they could have had, like maybe, the same one taking place in the veterans community. We talk about the power this movie has to help people understand what PTSD to the point where they actually care about the veterans and their families.

Right up front understand I have not seen it yet for a reason. I live with what combat does everyday, so I am waiting for it to come out on pay-per-view so I can walk away from it if I have to. Most of the veterans I know are doing the same thing because the last thing they want to do is sit in a huge, dark, crowded room with a bunch of strangers behind them.

This movie started a conversation few others have managed to do and that is what war does to those we send.

From their point of view, it isn't about right or wrong reasons. It is about those on their left and their right. It is about the bond they share willing to die for each other and the pain they bring home.

Politicians start wars and they are the ones who get to decide to end them. Ever since the beginning of this country, one group makes the decision to risk lives while about group decides to put their lives on the line. Even with the draft, most enlisted because it was supposed to be important enough that the security of this nation was in jeopardy. If politicians lied, the end result was the same for those who went.

Nothing is new in any of this. No wound is different. No suffering is different. No struggle trying to deal with the VA is different no matter how many times politicians want to blame the VA instead of themselves. Doesn't seem to matter this has all been going on for decades as more and more veterans are failed.

How great would it have been if students talked about any of this? How about if they talked about the history of what politicians have said about taking care of our veterans since the Patriots decided freedom was worth fighting for?

So many conversations they could have had but they decided to get political instead of historical. For heaven's sake! Reporters won't do it and if UCLA students won't who will?
CEC to hold post-film talk on ‘American Sniper’ after student outcry 
Daily Bruin
Posted: April 20, 2015
On the undergraduate government's Campus Events Commission's Facebook event page for Tuesday's film screening of "American Sniper," students protested the free showing of the controversial, Oscar-nominated film. In response, CEC added a discussion after the screening. (Warner Bros.)
Undergraduate student government officers added a post-film discussion to their Tuesday screening of “American Sniper” after dozens of students plastered its Facebook event page with concerns that the film promotes Islamophobia and glorifies war.

“American Sniper,” released in January, is based on the true story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who has the most recorded kills in U.S. military history and who served four tours during the Iraqi war.

Some who like the film say it celebrates an American war hero and sheds light on the internal struggles soldiers face after war. But many of the commenters on Facebook said they want the screening on campus to be cancelled because they said they think the film perpetuates Islamophobia and ideas of American imperialism.

Undergraduate Students Association Council Campus Events Commissioner Greg Kalfayan said he decided to show “American Sniper” for students who didn’t have the opportunity to watch it when it was first released. The commission is currently showing all films nominated for the best picture Academy Award, which includes “American Sniper.”

“We anticipated criticism, but not in the amount we received,” Kalfayan said. The CEC staff knew “American Sniper” had already stirred controversy on other college campuses, said CEC director of films and third-year sociology student Stone Frankle.

At the University of Michigan, over 200 students signed a petition earlier this month asking the school to cancel a student-planned free showing of the movie. The school canceled the showing at first, but ended up showing the movie despite the petition, saying that canceling the event was inconsistent with its values of freedom of expression. read more here

Thursday, April 16, 2015

American Sniper Stunning Donation Choice

American Sniper is coming out on DVD but I strongly suggest you do not buy it. When you see which charity is getting $1 million, Dr. Evil may come to mind and not in a good way.

Watch it on a pay-per-view service and if you feel the need to help PTSD veterans then please, donate to the charity that actually has ties to Chris Kyle or some of the other groups out there. You'd think they would have thought of that as their choice to donate to, but you'd be wrong.

It is a powerful movie and a lot of people have told me they understand PTSD a lot better than ever before.

Some veterans went to see it at the theater but most have been waiting to be able to watch it in the privacy, and security, of their own homes.  I am glad they are not making you wait too long to see it so that part is all good.  The rest, well, you'll see what I mean.

I removed the links to the "project" because I'm sure you know where to find them if you really wanted to. After all it must take a lot of money to "help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other" as if that isn't something veterans do for each other for free everyday!


“The best film of the year.”
 Kyle Smith, New York Post


Warner Bros. to donate up to $1 million to
Wounded Warrior Project
Burbank, CA, April 15, 2015 – From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” arriving onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on May 19 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, A Mad Chance Production, A 22nd & Indiana Production. “American Sniper” stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter. 

A two-time Oscar® nominee for his work in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” Cooper stars alongside Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban and Keir O’Donnell. 

Oscar®-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Unforgiven”) directed “American Sniper” from a screenplay written by Jason Hall, based on the book by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The autobiography was a runaway bestseller, spending 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at number one. 

The film is produced by Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan. Tim Moore, Jason Hall, Sheroum Kim, Steven Mnuchin and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.

American Sniper” will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and includes the film in high definition on Blu-ray disc, a DVD, and a digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own American Sniper” via purchase from digital retailers.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will donate a portion of the proceeds across physical and digital sales to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). One dollar of each purchase will be donated up to $1,000,000 from April 21, 2015 through December 31, 2015, void in Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi and South Carolina. To get involved and learn more, visit 

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To learn more about WWP’s life-saving programs and services, please visit  


From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter. 

Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield, and as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.

Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind. 


“American Sniper” Blu-ray Combo Pack & Two Disc DVD contains the following special features:
·         One Soldier’s Story: The Journey of American Sniper
Join director Clint Eastwood and his creative team, along with
Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, as they overcome enormous creative and
logistic obstacles to make a film that brings the truth of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's story to the screen.
·         Making of American Sniper


On May 19, “American Sniper” will be available for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on their favorite devices from select digital retailers including Amazon, CinemaNow, Comcast, Flixster, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. “American Sniper” will also be available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

*Digital HD with UltraViolet allows fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital HD with UltraViolet is included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. Digital HD with UltraViolet allows consumers to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through UltraViolet retail services like CinemaNow, Flixster, VUDU and more. For more information on compatible devices go to Consult an UltraViolet Retailer for details and requirements and for a list of HD-compatible devices.


PRODUCT                                                                            SRP
Blu-ray Combo Pack                                                               $44.95
Two Disc DVD Amaray (WS)                                               $28.98

Standard Street Date: May 19, 2015
DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French
BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French
BD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Brazilian Portuguese
Running Time: 132 minutes
Rating: Rated R by the MPAA for strong and disturbing war violence and language throughout, including some sexual references.

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.


For Online Media Outlets
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Alyssa Some, 818/977-0074



I emailed them and didn't hear back so if you feel compelled to let them know how you feel about this, please use their contact information and let them know.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

MOH for Kyle "See it as a political posturing"

Effort to get Chris Kyle the Medal of Honor under fire by veterans
The Washington Post
Dan Lamothe
February 27, 2015

A Texas congressman introduced legislation on Thursday to get “American Sniper” Chris Kyle the Medal of Honor posthumously for service in Iraq. As Checkpoint already explored, it’s highly unlikely it will happen. But the effort is also under fire from some who have served and see it as a political posturing.

The military blog This Ain’t Hell weighed in on the subject Friday. Army veteran Jonn Lilyea wrote that while he defends Kyle’s legacy in combat, the Navy SEAL has never been considered by the Navy for the nation’s top award recognizing combat valor.

Williams introduced the legislation two days after Marine veteran Eddie Ray Routh was convicted of murdering Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, on Feb. 2, 2013 at a gun range in Texas.

read more here

While the Washington Post didn't think the Representative's name was important, This Ain't Hell did.
Texas Congressman Roger Williams
And here's the quote from NBC News
“Chris gave the ultimate sacrifice and served his nation with distinction and bravery while saving countless American lives,” Williams said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “There is no doubt that this true American hero is worthy of our nation’s highest military honor."

For a second there I thought they were talking about Brian Williams.

Honoring Kyle's service is one thing, but this is what the Medal of Honor stands for along with the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross, which can also be found on the link.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration that may be awarded by the United States government. It is presented by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, and is conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty:
While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States;
While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
There are three distinct versions (one for the Army, one for the Air Force, and one for the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard).

And there is a process after that.
Recommendation Process

Friday, February 27, 2015

Will American Sniper Trial Feed PTSD Stigma or Will Reporters Do It?

'American Sniper' trial likely to increase stigma of PTSD but this has been brought up by reporters for a long time. No, not just since this trial but for decades. It seems they just keep making statements without noticing they are the ones feeding the stigma instead of helping to end it.
"The jury got it right — that helps to some degree to destigmatize PTSD," said Harry Croft, a San Antonio-based psychiatrist who evaluates veterans with post-traumatic stress. "The bad news is: The headlines before the trial was that PTSD will be used as a defense. Unfortunately, that's the message many people will remember."

Pathetic! I am so sick and tired of reporters spinning this instead of actually telling folks what is really going on. If veterans think this famous trial will feed the stigma, they need to actually stop reacting and start thinking.

When Vietnam veterans came home, like generations before them, combat tagged along for the rest of their lives. They were not about go quietly into the abyss most folks were ready to help them into. They were called crazy, druggies, along with baby killers plus a lot of other things not fit for publication. They turned around, fought every established veterans service organizations, every politician, every psychiatrists and reporter getting in their way. The battle they fought after they came home managed to save a lot more lives, not just for their own sake but for all generations of veterans and civilians alike.

Crisis Intervention Strategies, By Richard James, Burl Gilliland gives credit to where credit is due for what happens when all of us are faced with traumatic events. Support groups and crisis intervention specialists ready to help us right away. (Ok, so I am one of those responders. I was certified in programs from 2008 to 2010 when I took just about every class I could.) These steps were established simply because Vietnam veterans pushed for all the research.

Then there are the Veterans centers. Those started in the 70's as well. Vietnam veterans didn't have a choice. They were not welcomed by other veterans. They did it without the internet and Facebook.

It wasn't until the Vietnam Memorial Wall was built that they were finally being honored for their service.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands as a symbol of America's honor and recognition of the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. Inscribed on the black granite walls are the names of more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remain missing. Yet the Memorial itself is dedicated to honor the "courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country" of all who answered the call to serve during the longest war in U.S. history. The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, Inc. is the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 1980 to fund and build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Incorporated on April 27, 1979 by a group of veterans led by Jan C. Scruggs, who was wounded and decorated for service in Vietnam, the organization sought a tangible symbol of recognition from the American people for those who served in the war.

By separating the issue of individuals serving in the military during the Vietnam era and U.S. policy carried out there, VVMF hoped to begin a process of national reconciliation. Two members of the U.S. Senate, Charles Mathias (R-Md.) and John Warner (R-Va.), took the lead in Congress to enact legislation providing three acres in the northwest corner of the National Mall as a site for the Memorial. It was dedicated on Nov. 13, 1982.

If the stigma is still strong then you can thank reporters for feeding it all these years.
This came out in 2009.
Some military commanders still stuck on stupid when it comes to PTSD

"Our goal is to eradicate the stigma," he said. "We're not there yet."

Encouraging more soldiers to seek help, and training leaders to spot signs of trouble, have taken on new urgency since the fatal shooting last Monday of five U.S. service members at a counseling center at Baghdad's Camp Liberty.

Army Sgt. John M. Russell has been charged with five counts of murder. He was finishing his third tour in Iraq and had been ordered to seek counseling at the center, the Army said.

Sergeants on their third or fourth assignments to Iraq or Afghanistan are more than twice as likely to suffer mental health problems as those on their first assignment to a combat zone, according an Army study last year.

You can also thank them for letting military leaders get away with claims without being challenged like the one General Ray Odierno made back in 2014,
"First, inherently what we do is stressful. Why do I think some people are able to deal with stress differently than others? There are a lot of different factors. Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations.

But it also has to do with where you come from. I came from a loving family, one who gave lots of positive reinforcement, who built up psychologically who I was, who I am, what I might want to do. It built confidence in myself, and I believe that enables you to better deal with stress. It enables you to cope more easily than maybe some other people.

This pathetic attitude was carried over as the public was finally made aware of what was going on in Warrior Transition Units and those seeking help faced the ultimate betrayal.

Guess Odierno didn't remember Ty Carter or the Medal of Honor he had around his neck after he not only showed "intestinal fortitude" in combat but then had to show it even more with his battle to heal PTSD to the point where he went on a mission to have the "D" dropped from the term to help fight the stigma being fed by the military all these years after Vietnam Veterans fought to have it treated.
In the battle that earned him the nation's highest military honor, an outpost in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province was surrounded by almost 300 insurgents who opened fire with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades the morning of Oct. 3, 2009. Fifty-three Americans were stationed there; eight were killed in battle, and 25 were wounded, including Carter, who suffered hearing loss, shrapnel injuries and a concussion.

Guess he forgot about Dakota Meyer and all the others over all these years coming out also with the Medal of Honor on their necks and trying to save lives proving that having PTSD was nothing to be ashamed of.

Guess he forgot about the Generals coming out admitting they struggled with PTSD and speaking up for soldiers with their own battles to heal and prove that it was ok to talk about PTSD.

The stigma of PTSD is alive because far too many people want it that way. If everyone understood what it was and how long it has been going on, then they'd all be fighting the right battles toward healing. But hey, why bother to point out that PTSD isn't just about veterans but because of them, civilians have treatment to recover from traumatic events as well?

UPDATE Example of Crisis Intervention teams and what they do.
Girl's police call exposes trail of death: 7 killed in 4 Missouri homes

Classes for the district's 1,000 students are in session Friday, in part to give them a sense of normalcy, he said.

"We do have counselors available, and other offers from other districts to help out. As a small town, we all cry together. My principals are all assessing the situation now, and we will make a determination on what to do next," Dill said.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Texas Jury Finds Routh Guilty

Man convicted in deaths of 'American Sniper' author, friend 
Feb 24th 2015
A forensic psychologist testified for prosecutors that Routh was not legally insane and suggested he may have gotten some of his ideas from television.
STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A former Marine was convicted Tuesday in the deaths of the "American Sniper" author and another man at a shooting range two years ago, as jurors rejected defense arguments that he was insane and suffered from psychosis.

The trial of Eddie Ray Routh has drawn intense interest, in part because of the blockbuster film based on former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's memoir about his four tours in Iraq.

Since prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty in the capital murder case, the 27-year-old receives an automatic life sentence without parole in the deaths of Kyle and Kyle's friend, Chad Littlefield.

The prosecution painted Routh as a troubled drug user who knew right from wrong, despite any mental illnesses.

While trial testimony and evidence often included Routh making odd statements and referring to insanity, he also confessed several times, apologized for the crimes and tried to evade police. read more here

Sunday, February 22, 2015

DIfferent View From Eyes of Another American Sniper

I was an American sniper, and Chris Kyle’s war was not my war
Garett Reppenhagen
Feb 21, 2015
As a sniper I was not usually the victim of a traumatic event, but the perpetrator of violence and death. My actions in combat would have been more acceptable to me if I could cloak myself in the belief that the whole mission was for a greater good. Instead, I watched as the purpose of the mission slowly unraveled.

I spent nights in Iraq lying prone and looking through a 12-power sniper scope. You only see a limited view between the reticles. That’s why it’s necessary to keep both eyes open. This way you have some ability to track targets and establish 360 degrees of awareness. I rotated with my spotter and an additional security team member to maintain vigilance and see the whole battlefield. I scrutinized every target in my scope to determine if they were a threat.

In a way, it’s an analogy for keeping the whole Iraq mission in perspective and fully understanding the experiences of the U.S. war fighters during Operation Iraqi Freedom. No single service member has the monopoly on the war narrative. It will change depending on where you serve, when you were there, what your role was, and a few thousand other random elements.

For the past 10 days, “American Sniper” has rallied crowds and broken box office records, but if you want to understand the war, the film is like peering into a sniper scope — it offers a very limited view.

The movie tells the story of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, said to have 160 confirmed kills, which would make him the most lethal American military member in history. He first shared his story in a memoir, which became the basis for Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation. Kyle views the occupation of Iraq as necessary to stop terrorists from coming to the mainland and attacking the U.S.; he sees the Iraqis as “savages” and attacks any critical thought about the overall mission and the military’s ability to accomplish it.
Unlike Chris Kyle, who claimed his PTSD came from the inability to save more service members, most of the damage to my mental health was what I call “moral injury,” which is becoming a popular term in many veteran circles. read more here

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Eddie Ray Routh PTSD Claims Unravel

Prosecutors cast doubt on Routh's PTSD claim
WFAA 8 News
Jason Whitely
February 10, 2015

DALLAS — On the eve of opening statements, Erath County prosecutors revealed part of their strategy to debunk the defense's claim that Eddie Ray Routh murdered two men — including famed Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle — because he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I think the state has a very strong case," said Demarcus Ward, an attorney and former Dallas County prosecutor who examined documents for News 8.

The prosecution's case appears to be stronger based on more than a dozen documents released by the district clerk late Tuesday.
In a brief filed with the court on Tuesday that detailed other offenses, prosecutors said Routh "lied about shooting a child in Iraq, pulling dead bodies out of the water, or piled up dead bodies in Haiti or [having] seen multiple dead babies."

The filing goes on to claim that Routh told a friend "he was making false claims to [the VA] to get benefits."

On multiple occasions, prosecutors outlined that Routh smoked marijuana and used methamphetamine for at least a decade beginning in 2003 — before his military service.
read more here

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

TMZ Got Eastwood Sniper Comment Wrong

TMZ Got Story Wrong
It's their right,,,,,not they're right.
Clint Eastwood 'American Sniper' Bashers Have a Point

Clint Eastwood said something really weird Monday night about "American Sniper" ... appearing to agree with his harshest critics. Clint was leaving Dan Tana's in West Hollywood when our photog asked what he thought about Bill Maher and Michael Moore blasting the portrayal of military sniper Chris Kyle as a hero. You'll recall, Moore called snipers "cowards," and Maher said Kyle was a "psychopath patriot." go here for more and watch the video yourself.

He didn't say that bashers have a point either,,,,Maybe they need to join forces with Brian Williams?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jesse Ventura Gains Attention For Saying Nothing New

Jesse Ventura has been getting a lot of attention attacking American Sniper and Chris Kyle's service. After all, Kyle claimed to have punched out Ventura and that really hurt his feelings. Ventura sued Kyle and won but when Kyle was killed trying to help a veteran with PTSD, Ventura decided to make sure he got what he must have thought was worthy of his hurt feelings. Jesse Ventura wins $1.8M in defamation lawsuit against ex-SEAL sniper

No one would ever expect Ventura to approve of the movie so why is he getting so much attention from reporters for saying absolutely nothing new?
Famous Veteran: Jesse Ventura

Despite his membership with Underwater Demolition Team 12, Ventura never saw combat during Vietnam although he did receive the Vietnam Service Medal.

One of my favorite songs is Don Henley's Dirty Laundry

I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something
Something I can use
People love it when you lose
They love dirty laundry
Well, I coulda been an actor
But I wound up here
I just have to look good
I don't have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em all around
We got the bubble headed
Bleached blonde
Comes on at five
She can tell you 'bout the plane crash
With a gleam in her eyev It's interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry

This video is the Eagles performing Dirty Laundry and dedicated it to Rupert Murdoch

Jesse Ventura skipping ‘American Sniper’; says Chris Kyle is no hero
MINNEAPOLIS – “American Sniper” is tops at the box office but don’t expect to see former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura lining up at a theater for it.

Ventura, a former Navy SEAL, won $1.8 million in a defamation lawsuit last year against the estate of the late Chris Kyle, the SEAL protagonist of the movie, which has sparked debate over whether snipers should be considered heroes. Ventura said Wednesday he won’t see the film partly because Kyle is no hero to him.

“A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can’t have honor if you’re a liar. There is no honor in lying,” Ventura said from his winter home in Baja California, Mexico. He also noted that the movie isn’t playing there.

Ventura also dismissed the movie as propaganda because it conveys the false idea that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attacks.
read more here

In this country, anyone can say whatever they want. On the flip side, no one is forced to listen to it however mucking up the works are reporters giving folks a platform to get more people exposed to their thoughts. In a perfect world, reporters would actually stop long enough to ask a question about what was just said by the subject of the interview.

Ayman Mohyeldin said that Chris Kyle went on "killing sprees" with the full force of facts in his voice. That didn't last long when he was challenged by Joe Scarborough. After a painful pause, his tone changed and when he responded it pretty much summed up he had no intention of proving a single claim he just made.
MSNBC Reporter: ‘Racist’ Chris Kyle Went on ‘Killing Sprees’ in Iraq 
Washington Free Beacon
January 29, 2015

NBC foreign affairs reporter Ayman Mohyeldin made the suggestion Thursday on Morning Joe that Chris Kyle, late subject of the hit movie “American Sniper” and credited as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, had “racist tendencies” toward Iraqis and Muslims and “went on killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.”

 “American Sniper” has given a lot of Americans an inside look at what actually happened over in Iraq during the war.

It has also raised a national discussion on post-traumatic stress disorder, addressing the personal issues veterans face when they come home.

Mohyeldin’s commentary left host Joe Scarborough dumbfounded.

“Killing sprees?” Scarborough asked incredulously. “Chris Kyle was going on killing sprees?”
read more here

At least Joe Scarborough decided to ask a question on two points made but not proven.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

American Sniper Heavy Silence Because No One Listens

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 27, 2015

There has been a lot of debate about American Sniper. Maybe it is a good thing since there is a lot that isn't getting talked about, or at least it could have been. The trouble is when you have people taking political sides the troops and veterans are slammed right in the middle and the movie is more important than the one playing in their dreams every night.

"The View" Co-hosts Agree "American Sniper" is a Seminal War Film

"There was heavy silence at Walter Reed."
"Bravery has consequences."

This is from what Mike Barnicle wrote about American Sniper
At a screening in L.A. and New York, the crowd cheered. In Dallas there was no cheering. And when the film was screened at one site in Washington there was only a heavy silence.

Where was that location? Walter Reed National Medical Center, where the wounded, the limbless, the brain damaged are treated for injuries that linger forever and are largely forgotten by a country and a culture where more attention is paid to deflated footballs than the needs and cost of caring for men and women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Paul Rieckhoff said that veterans have been trying to get attention for a decade. Really? Seriously?

What about the decades other veterans not only tried to get attention but fought to put everything in place that was available for their generation? Oh, I'm sorry it isn't popular to remind anyone how long all of this has been going on. All you have to do is sit and talk a while with a Vietnam veteran who had to wait years for a claim in the 80's and 90's, months for an appointment with a VA doctor or even longer for a fee base outsourced appointment.  Ya, that's right they were doing all of this way back then.

Hey why not add in the fact that there were caregivers way back then too? We had to figure out how to raise our family, work, take care of our husbands and usually our elderly parents (mostly veterans as well) and then figure out how make sure it was all held together while we fell apart without any money or help to do it. I lost count how many jobs I had in the over 30 years I've been with my husband.

As stupid as the reporting has been saying Afghanistan has been the longest war, and everything else they seem all too easily to forget, none of this is new and that is what pisses off other veterans the most.

For all the bills, all the money, all the news, all the claims made about addressing it, the numbers of lives lost to suicide increased. The number of veterans trying to kill themselves increased. These numbers went up even though there is a growing list of organizations begging for money and attention. Even though there is the Suicide Prevention Hotline with thousands of calls a year. Even though there are reporters all over the country telling heartbreaking stories of them facing off with police officers and SWAT Teams every week.

Watch: 'The Nightly Show' Aims at 'American Sniper' Debate with War Veteran, Critic and Comedy Guests

We're not talking about the fact that PTSD hits all generations and older veterans have been waiting longer, suffering longer and begged for something to be done before others followed them into the abyss.

What the hell is going on here?

We're not talking about how veterans are not able to go and watch the movie if they have PTSD because they won't sit in a huge, dark room with strangers behind them especially when they know their past is going to kick up its heels and smack them in the head.

I talked to a friend of mine and he said he's waiting for it to come on cable so that he can watch it and walk out of the room if it gets to be too much for him. Other veterans said they don't need to see a Hollywood movie, no matter how good it is supposed to be, since they just watched their own movie last night.

Wives like me won't go to see it either. While I totally appreciate it, I just don't want to watch it. I haven't watched any of them in years. Living with it on a daily basis and covering their stories for Wounded Times has zapped my emotional core to the point where sitting in a movie theater to watch more suffering is the last thing I want to do.

I do think you should see it if you want to get some kind of idea what it is like. Friends have seen it and said they understood more and they cried.

This is one of the first videos I made on PTSD. It is from 2006.

Our generation has been trying to help the younger generation catch up to what it took us decades to learn. They didn't want to listen. Our generation tried like hell to get Congress to change what they were doing. They didn't want to listen. We tried to get reporters to pay attention long before Afghanistan and Iraq but they didn't want to listen.

It seems as if everyone is talking about their opinion of this movie without listening to what is still happening because no one listened before.

American Sniper isn't about Democrats or Republicans

When will people stop pushing the myth that American Sniper isn't about Democrats or Republicans? Do they have to turn everything into a political game? Supporting this movie, much like supporting the troops and veterans isn't political, this is more about people who get it and those who never will.

We could be spending time on the missing issues about this movie, like how a lot of PTSD won't go to see it. Most of the time, they can't go to movies because sitting in a huge, dark room with a bunch of strangers behind their backs is not pleasant or entertaining to them. The other thing is, some of them don't need to see a movie about war since they just watched their own last night.

They know what PTSD is and what it does. They are also grateful that what they have been living with has finally been exposed to the masses.

I haven't seen it and I probably won't. I stopped watching these movies a long time ago. I am glad they made it and think it will help people understand but when you live with it everyday, spending time to be emotionally pulled apart isn't a pleasant thought for me either.

If you are a veteran and want to understand PTSD, this could help. If you are a family member, it could help you understand it as well.

Oh, by the way, I adore Gary Sinise but not seeing it isn't about politics for everyone.!

Gary Sinise Criticizes Howard Dean Over 'Stupid Blanket Statements' On 'American Sniper'
The Huffington Post
By Christopher Rosen
Posted: 01/26/2015

On Friday's "Real Time With Bill Maher," Howard Dean said there was maybe "a lot of intersection" between people seeing Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" and members of the Tea Party.

"There's a lot of anger in this country. And the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry," Dean said about the film, which focuses on the life of Chris Kyle, a deceased Navy SEAL who has been called the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. "This guy basically says, 'I'm going to fight on your side.' They bite for it."

Dean's comments didn't sit well with many conservatives, including Gary Sinise. On Monday, the actor posted a rebuttal to Dean that called out the former governor for making "stupid blanket statements."

"I saw 'American Sniper' and would not consider myself to be an angry person. You certainly have a right to make stupid blanket statements, suggesting that all people who see this film are angry, but how is that helpful sir?" Sinise wrote on his WhoSay page.

"Do you also suggest that everyone at Warner Brothers is angry because they released the film? That Clint Eastwood, Jason Hall, Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and the rest of the cast and crew are angry because they made the film? Chris Kyle's story deserved to be told. It tells a story of the stress that multiple deployments have on one military family, a family representative of thousands of military families.

It helps to communicate the toll that the war on terror has taken on our defenders.

Defenders and families who need our support. I will admit that perhaps somewhere among the masses of people who are going to see the film there may be a few that might have some anger or have been angry at some point in their lives, but, with all due respect, what the hell are you talking about?"
read more here

Monday, January 26, 2015

American Sniper More About What They Do For Each Other

'American Sniper' shocks critics 
Time Gazette
Brian Mosely
Sunday, January 25, 2015
It's about soldiers looking out for and taking care of each other, long after the battle is done.

American Sniper surprised box-office watchers by pulling in a huge haul over the four-day weekend -- taking over $105 million during its first weekend of wide release.

The film is up for several Oscars this year, including one for star Bradley Cooper, who bulked up 30 pounds and learned how to speak Texan for the role of Navy Seal Chris Kyle.

But the movie isn't about the 160 kills Kyle reportedly made. It's about the impact that war has on our soldiers and the long road back to their loved ones.

There really hasn't been a film that tackled the topic since the 1946 film "The Best Years of Our Lives," about three returning World War II vets and challenges they encountered returning to "normal life."

What they suffered from wasn't called PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) back then -- instead you'd hear phrases like "shell-shock" or "combat fatigue."

For a great many vets, it wasn't called anything at all -- they just suffered silently, but their families knew.

Unfortunately, over the years, there's also been plenty of the "crazed solider returns from war and then does something terrible" movies.

Ask a vet sometime what they think about them.

In American Sniper, Cooper and director Clint Eastwood show the impact that combat has on the mind of our troops.

The blank stare when it's obvious Chris Kyle is reliving the horror. A sudden noise that rackets up the heart rate. Even a typical drive in traffic can generate reminders of combat.

It's about soldiers looking out for and taking care of each other, long after the battle is done.

But as usual, there has been the typical belly-aching from those who see our military as nothing but ruthless killers, pointing out that Cooper and the rest of the cast are constantly calling the enemy "savages" in the movie.
read more here
This is a huge shock to them as well
'American Sniper' hauls in $200 million at box office
Brian Steler
January 25, 2015

"American Sniper" is on track to make $200 million in its first ten days of nationwide release, a feat matched by only a few R-rated films in Hollywood history.

The Oscar-nominated Iraq War movie, starring Bradley Cooper as the legendary sniper Chris Kyle, may go on to beat 2004's "The Passion of the Christ," which currently ranks as the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time.
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Friday, January 23, 2015

No Longer Silent Snipers Speak Out

Snipers cowards? Local sniper and Marines take offense to Michael Moore
KHOU 11 News
Kevin Reece
January 20, 2015

CYPRESS, Texas - In tours of Iraq and Afghanistan Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeff Crenshaw never had to worry about anyone calling him a coward – doesn't have to worry about it now for that matter. But when movie-maker Michael Moore tweeted the "cowards" comment, Crenshaw – a former sniper - and a chorus of supporters of the movie "American Sniper" responded.

"Anybody who says that is an idiot," said Crenshaw now retired from the military and employed as an insurance agent in Houston. The former sniper had to make the same difficult choices and brought home some of the same demons as sniper Chris Kyle, the man's whose life is portrayed in the movie.

"The person I was before I went to Iraq, I absolutely never was when I came home. I mean it just changes you."

"It shows the true nature of war," said Crenshaw who saw the movie last week. "How awful it is and the toll it takes on a human being. Because taking a life is not a natural act."
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Jan 21, 2015
Jeff Crenshaw is a retired Marine Corps sniper, who says "American Sniper" is the most realistic thing he's seen since the battlefield. He also critiques the notion of snipers as cowards.

Sgt. William Rollins, Silver Star, lost more than 20 to combat and 20 more to suicide.

Package about the heroic actions of Sgt. William Rollins. His valor in Afghanistan earned him the Silver Star. The Nation's 3rd highest award for gallantry in combat was presented to him during a ceremony at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, Dec. 17, 2010.
American Sniper has done more than show a very rare glimpse of a sniper. It went beyond telling the stories of them back home. The movie got them talking and opening up. In the process, hearing the struggles of the elite, the rest of the veterans may begin to finally see that PTSD has nothing to do with lack of training, lack of courage or anything else they are lacking. It has more to do with what they have an abundance of, and that begins with their strength and courage while still being just human.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Chris Kyle American Sniper Movie Breaks Record Opening

'American Sniper' Breaks Box Office Records After Oscar Nominations 
NBC News
January 19, 2015

NEW YORK — Oscar-nominated "American Sniper" led North American box office charts over the weekend with a record-smashing $90.2 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates.

The film, which broke the record for a January weekend as well as for any drama opening ever, was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper.

"American Sniper" virtually doubled industry expectations after widely expanding to some 3,500 screens from just a handful of theaters the day after scoring six Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for Cooper, who plays a Navy Seal sharpshooter.
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Story of Texan Chris Kyle, ‘American Sniper,’ works best as a portrait of PTSD (B+) Dallas News
Culture Critic
December 24, 2014

Twenty-two years ago, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven served up an eloquent encapsulation of what it means to take a life: “It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. You take away all he’s got, and all he’s ever gonna have.”

The late Chris Kyle, the hero of Eastwood’s new movie American Sniper, might have an appropriate answer: Try killing 160.

That’s how many official kills were credited to the sharpshooting Texan, the most in American military history. As played by Bradley Cooper, Kyle absorbed his role, embraced his duty, but turned into a husk of a man once each of his four tours in Iraq was finished. Though it never uses the term “PTSD,” American Sniper, at its best, is a devastating portrait of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The movie is strongest when Kyle is home, as his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller, also strong), wonders whether the man who was her husband might re-enter the land of the living. Cooper turns Kyle’s emotional vacancy into a vivid presence. He wears it in the hollow eyes, and the clenched jaw, and the monosyllabic shutdown when anyone expresses concern.
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'American Sniper': What Happened in Real Life After the Movie Fades to Black
ABC News
Jan 20, 2015

His funeral was held at the Cowboy's Stadium to allow for crowds and his wife Taya gave an emotional eulogy on stage.

"When you think you cannot do something, think again. Chris always said the body will do whatever the mind tells it to. I am counting on that now," she said. "I stand before you a broken woman but I am now and always will be the wife of a man who was a warrior both on and off the battlefield."

The film showed clips of the ceremony and Kyle's flag-draped coffin, but some of the most moving moments came when it showed how hundreds of people lined the sides of the interstate to salute the procession as the coffin was moved from the stadium to the Texas State Cemetery about 200 miles away.
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