The American Sniper Dad & Hero

Since time began, the people who with their very lives have made a positive impact on society are offset by others who only wish they could make a real difference, and who instead complain, disagree and do battle. I am going to try to not pop-a-cork here. I am so tired of people who complain but are not willing to step-in, stand-up, stand in the gap for what is good and right and strong. When a man does something powerful, when his story is shared, even if embellished or polished, but it moves people to good, I applaud it. The new movie American Sniper is a perfect example.

There are a few big name celebrity types who are chiming in against the movie. I am not losing any sleep over their words because I have never supported them in their movies or efforts to begin with. They are prostitutes to some of Satan’s most successful minions: fame, money, and ego. I am more concerned about the men I know who are forwarding links to materials that try to warp the good that is coming from the movie. They are buying into the lies that are attempting to tear down the good from the Chris Kyle story.

There has never been a more important time in America for us to rally behind good. To find a hero we can cheer for. To try and break off the lies the evil one is pounding into our culture. He is trying to tear this country, the most incredible country in the world, apart with lies. The truth is that there will always be wars and we need brave young men to fight them. We need seasoned men to lead them, teach them, console and train them.

Apathy. A demon that will kill a man inside. Every man hears the call to duty; their heart races when they are faced with adventure. But not every man has the ability, the courage, and the physical power to step up. At 30 years old Chris Kyle did, and at 55 I cheered for him and those who went to battle with him. Real men strive to understand truth and reality. Not relying on a momentary emotion, but hard fact, and then participating. Getting up early, staying up late, going on when it seems impossible, and doing everything you can to be the man God calls you to be. How could a man not cheer on and dream of doing what Kyle did at age 30?

The epidemic of fatherlessness is destroying our country and our boys. It’s not new, many of us have the wounds of a father… or of no father. Some wounds are blatant, big gaping scars oozing pus. Others are small scabs that are just constantly irritating. We spend years trying to push it behind us with all types of excuses and addictions. I quit the drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t easy, but I did it… only to battle even deeper demons of anger and self-centeredness. I walked the line for years and was so close to losing the precious gifts of a wife and children. I disconnected from my family even when they were right in front of me. Worked long hours because there, I knew I could handle things. Resentment was a form of anger. My old saying to everyone one was, “I am right, and what I say is the only thing you need to know as truth.” It was an ugly life verse I believed for years.

Women want and need to have strong, good, Godly men who will fight for them and for their family. Kyle’s wife, like so many wives, was desperately seeking the man she loved to be there. For many men, good men, God fearing men, the struggle to be real and available from the heart can be harder than facing a group of armed insurgents face-to-face. Coming off the battle fields from faraway lands, men can be detached and unavailable in the office or the job site. The battle back is incredibly hard. Kyle fought his way back and it was a wonderful depiction of courage on the home front.

Today, I seek so desperately to be in the presence of Jesus. To find still, quiet places to hear Him. To be with others who are seeking Him… the boys we spend time with in the ministry who share moments of pure innocence that inspire my heart… seasoned believers who teach me, share, and walk with me in the good and bad moments of my life. I am not looking for a fix. I am not praying a lofty request that shoots me with a bazooka of joy. I want real life, real men, real believers, men and women who have walked uneven ground and then share from that place, deep and real. Chris Kyle was offering that back to the men he cared for in his efforts back home. Hands on real life, all in.

My nephew went to war. He is still a member of the National Guard, and he is a police officer. He is a good man. A young man with a family, who has always been willing to give his life for country or citizen. Those American citizens are you and me. I have a best friend whose son went to Iraq for 3 tours. His struggle back to this place has been hard. He went because He felt in his heart it was the right thing to do. It was hard, he did and saw hard things. These men are heroes in my book, and there are so many more like them.

Few folks walked alongside Kyle. Many may claim to know him, but few probably really did. How many people really know your day, your true heart and your feelings? When I am gone, when all this is left behind, I pray my life story moves people to understand something bigger. I pray they are moved to action, to do something that matters, like Kyle has.

Most often in movies, television and commercials today, men are portrayed as bumbling idiots. Getting drunk, cheating on your wife, sleeping around, taking drugs, and being a complete idiot. Commercials depict wives taking over to put in a light bulb, change a tire, discipline a child, or paint a room because the guy can’t. What man ever grew up dreaming that he would be that man? Boys dream of being tough cowboys, snipers, fighter pilots, hunters, football quarterbacks or a knights on a white stallion.

I don’t care if there are inaccuracies in the story of Chris Kyle. I don’t care if it is all just a great story. I left that theater moved in a mighty way. I was inspired and proud to be an American. I was proud to be living in the most incredible, free and important country in the world.
So those naysayers out there can have their say. I am having mine. That’s how it works, because guys like Chris Kyle, my nephew, and so many others chose to step into the gap for us. God bless America, amen.

TJ Greaney

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