I have written previously about the movie, “American Sniper”, about Chris Kyle, the U.S. Navy SEAL, who had served four tours between Iraq and Afghanistan, and was considered by some to be the Ultimate Sniper. Two years ago, he and Chad Littlefield, a Friend and also a Veteran of the Middle East, were going to a rifle range, near where they lived in Texas.
They decided to invite Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine and also a Veteran, who apparently had some lingering psychological problems (PTSD?), to go along with them. As it turned out, Routh shot and killed both of Kyle and Littlefield, right on the rifle range near their hometown. Tonight, a Guilty Verdict was handed down. Its important note that the case revolved around Routh’s psychological state–both at the time of the murders, and aside from that time.
In a prior Blog Post, https://thetruthoncommonsense.com/2015/01/21/how-do-you-view-american-sniper/, I suggested that the popular movie was being received differently, depending upon the viewer’s personal feelings about: guns, warfare, killing, etc.
Given this evening’s Guilty Verdict, and the subsequent Life in Prison Sentence, I’m sure that the debate will now continue on to the new post-Trial platform. Former U. S. Congressman Patrick Murphy, of Massachusetts, a Middle East Veteran himself, voiced his opinion in somewhat of an odd fashion. He said that: “:Justice has been served; but it’s a sad day”. What might he have meant by that?
Last October, I had written another Post, suggesting that; “America is War-Weary!’, linked as follows: https://thetruthoncommonsense.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3048&action=edit. In it, I questioned the insanity of not re-enacting the Military Draft, a universal conscription process whereby everyone’s Children or Grandchildren might be called-on to serve. Currently, only one percent of Americans even know someone who is, or did, serve in the Middle East. That means that the most members of the Administration and Congress, along with most of the American People, just don’t feel the Pain of War.
In that second Post, I pointed out that many Soldiers and Marines–often skewed to the poor and less-educated--have served multiple deployments in the War Zones. A Universal Draft would reduce the probability of death or injury to any one “GI”. But unfortunately, as many have served three, four, five deployments, or even more, the possibility of becoming a casualty is greatly increased.
The two recent Wars that have been fought, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, have lasted roughly ten years each–about the same as Vietnam, back in the 60s and early 70s. The Deaths in the Middle East combined are roughly only one-tenth that of Vietnam. That’s because the medical capabilities are greatly improved today–with regard to proximity to the battlefield, mobile delivery and the technology. So, as the Deaths have been reduced to only a sliver, as compared to some 40 years ago, that means that the Injuries have surged dramatically.
Young Men and (now) Women are returning with a multitude of medical and/or psychological problems today, And, since many of these Veterans are going to be suffering from their various injuries for years to come–if not the rest of their lives–that’s where the problem lies. And, I believe that’s what the Congressman was referring to.
As a former District Attorney, back in Massachusetts, Patrick Murphy knew the importance of having a fair and honest Legal System. But, he also knew the burden that the All-Volunteer Military places on those who do serve–and their Families. I’m inclined to agree with him.
To summarize, the question really is: might all of America be complicit in the deaths of Kyle and Littlefield–for not recognizing the physical and emotional burden that they are placing on their young men and women. Did America kill them?