Days of Change

The Sacrifice | January 22, 2015

One of the things that people say to veterans now is “Thank you for your service” and occasionally for their sacrifice. One of the things that makes “American Sniper” so powerful is that it is not a composite like Iraq War movies of the last decade. It showed the real experiences of Chris Kyle in mostly the correct order.

Even after a decade composed of 4 tours, Kyle decided to volunteer his time to veterans who didn’t make it back with all their arms and legs. He sacrificed other things. One of the worst questions asked of soldiers is “Did you kill anyone?” In Kyle’s case, he was only known for his kills. A good day was not having to kill anyone. A very bad day was having to kill a boy ready to launch or throw an explosive at a group of soldiers. That took a toll on him, making it hard to adjust back to “real” life and taking precious time from his family when he was home.

To call “American Sniper” and anti-war movie is ignorant. The truth is that the movie shows there is a cost, a sacrifice that is made in serving your country in that way. Almost worse than the people who criticize the war are the ones who don’t seem to know what’s going on. They assume things are taken care of because the number of deaths go down. Those sacrifices are not always made with the full knowledge of the consequences, especially when the people who sign up are just kids.

One of the other costs of military service came to light this week in a pretty sleazy fashion. Back in the days when I used to watch M*A*S*H*, (in syndication) one of the unexpected things for me was how much they focused on marital fidelity, what they called the first casualty of war. In that situation, where men and women were mixed together, every married couple was affected by it. In real life, it ends up being all too common, not only because of physical distance, but emotional distance.

Twitter member Holly Fisher was revealed this weekend to have had an affair months ago. She became known for posting about her pro-life beliefs during stories about Obamacare forcing businesses like Chik-fil-A to cover abortions when their ownership had strong moral objections. While having an affair isn’t a good thing under Christianity, it doesn’t make her a hypocrite on abortion itself. Fisher has said that her husband’s deployment was not the reason, (he was at home and out of the military at the time) the loss of time as a married couple can have its toll.

Almost 2 years ago today, I wrote about the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son and how it shows that Christianity is not about being a Christian until you fail. It is about how failure can make you a better Christian. It’s one of those things you don’t find in Islam.

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