By: Kayla Wheele
Did you know 22 American soldiers both veteran, or serving commit suicide A DAY? Thats 8,030 people that never received the help they deserved to get over their PTSD or TBI. 8,030 people that have seen horrors in combat that you and I can only imagine.
American Sniper shows a small piece of the daily struggles that military personal see every day deployed overseas. Chris Kyle’s gripping story of the sacrifices he made as a family man and the things he endured as a sniper will give you a perspective you never thought you would be witness too. Reading along as he talks about the moments before and after pulling the trigger will leave you breathless. His description of what was running through his mind will leave you with a pain you didn't know was possible for a human being to endure. I am sure not all military personal were able to compartmentalize the way that Chris Kyle was able to about the people he was credited with killing. This was a man who felt guilty when he went home, who felt guilt for the men and women he was unable to save. He was never diagnosed with PTSD but he did everything he could for his fellow servicemen and women when he finally retired. He never turned his back on anyone, and it propelled his demise. This is a man who had a bounty on his head when he served in Iraq, and untimely died at the hands of a fellow Marine mere hours away from his home in Texas. A man who did 4 tours in the harshest environments, and died at the hand of a man who is now claiming insanity. A man who is using his PTSD as an excuse for killing another person.
Many people have talked about his defence for insanity and have called out his PTSD excuse. I am not saying he doesn't have PTSD, and if he does I alone cant say it has affected him. But to use it as a defence for his murder case is appalling. He shot Chris Kyle in the back and head multiple times, with multiple guns. That is not a man acting out from fear or having a flash back. That is someone who knows what he is doing. And to me to use PTSD as an excuse makes it harder for all others suffering from what can be a crippling disease. How many people now are going to think their loved one, or friend, might become a murderer all because they have PTSD? How is this going to effect funding, or people coming out with their issues? Our men and women have sacrificed so much for our countries, to have them suffer in silence at home is saddening. These are people who need everything available to help them when they come home. Who need governments to step up and fund medication, therapy, therapy dogs, PTSD based retreats. Everything possible that can be done for a veteran should be done. Veteran affairs here in Canada requires a soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan to PROVE every year he does not have any legs. What do the people who have PTSD have to do to get help from veteran affairs? We have lost 4 servicemen to PTSD already this year, that pales in comparison to the 990 lost in the USA but it is still 4 to many. We as a society need to step up and help our veterans have a voice, make our governments step up and increase funding instead of cutting it. We need to write our MLA’s, governors, senators, Prime ministers and Presidents. Make it so our military personal do not have to worry about what might happen after deployment.
With all the talk that has begun thanks to not only this book but the movie that was based on Chris Kyle’s life and the subsequent trial of his killer maybe things will begin to change for the better for these men and women. I will be watching the trial of his killer up closely and praying for justice for an incredible man. Chris Kyle did so much for his country and servicemen and women and even in his death he has propelled the discussion about PTSD to the forefront. He is a hero that will be talked about for many years to come.