by Ed Friedman - Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I just interviewed Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, author of the bestselling book "American Sniper." Kyle is a genuinely nice guy and extremely modest. What's more, he is donating 100 percent of his cut of the book's profit to the families of fallen servicemen and to veterans' charities.
If you've been living under a rock, Kyle is the most prolific sniper in American history, with 160 confirmed kills in Iraq. Despite holding that title (by a wide margin), he does not rank himself as the greatest sniper we've produced.
"Carlos Hathcock was the greatest American sniper," he said. "Just because you have more kills doesn't make you better. The kills come because of the situation you're in. I was presented with a lot of targets. The snipers in World War II were given more opportunities than anyone since. Hathcock used all the skills a sniper needs to know—stalking, concealing his movement, waiting for the right moment, etc.—better than anyone. That's the real skill of being a sniper, not just the final moments of the shot."
Beyond his service to our nation abroad, Kyle is also an NRA Life Member, though he did not join until he left the military. "After I left the military, I needed to be able to show I am 100 percent in favor of our right to keep and bear arms. Joining the NRA was the best way to show I care about gun rights."
Check out the May issue of Shooting Illustrated (on newsstands April 17th) for the complete interview with Kyle. For now, we'll leave you with a poignant statement from this true American hero: "No matter how much training you do, you can never simulate the emotion of combat. War is hell. You lose close friends—it sucks. But sometimes war is a necessary evil."
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