After reading the book American Sniper, I realised that this is not your typical war novel. Sure it is about a SEAL taking on 4 tours in Iraq, chalked up the most number of kills for an American sniper. They called him The Legend. But this is not really about him making the kills, what I learned from this book, is the soldier’s tremendous pride in their country.
They have a strong sense of identity to their country, land and flag. They know that politics are dirty, and most of their US military policies are strategically flawed. This book is not about how much the SEALs hated the policy, this is about a solider who stills goes to fight a flawed war. He believes in his country and going to fight in Iraq meant that he will be able to protect his fellow Americans, and brothers-in-arms.
Chris Kyle, the SEAL, The American, The Father, The Husband
I think the beautiful thing about this book was comments and insights from Taya, Chris’ wife. Her inputs help align the story in perspective, he wasn’t just a SEAL, he was a husband, a father a soulmate. She sees that in him, but he don’t see that in himself. Like what Taya said it, Chris puts God, Country, Family in that order. It hurts her to think that family, her and her kids, Chris’ kids are lowest in that order. But this is who he is and to change that, he would not have been the man Taya loved.
For Country, For Family
But I think he argued his point well. In his perspective, without God, there will be no America, without America, there will be no place for a family, and he took to his job seriously, to kill, to protect his fellow Americans, and to do his duty, proud and patriotic.
Not a pro-American nationalist, just loving his country
This is something very important about the story behind this sniper, he is not out to promote US interests, he doesn’t sell US policies, he is just an elite solider in his country’s military. He served with pride, holds his country’s flag in honour and does what he can to protect his fellow country men. He would rather the other fellow dead than one of his fellow American die. He fights with this simplistic ideal that everyone with the Stars and Stripes on his arm deserves his protection.
In short he is fiercely patriotic, but not nationalistic. He loves his country and will defend the way they live, but he does not want to impose the way they lived on others. He is not interested in telling and selling how great America is, he is an operator, and executioner, he wants to bring as many Americans home as possible, and he will risk his life to do so.
Are you a Patriot?
I think Singapore and Singaporean hadn’t reach that stage of identity. We are only slightly more than 50 years old, the American history is more than 500. But I think to be patriotic, we don’t need to take such a long time for the history and legacy to build. We have what they have, we have our land, our flag, our Pledge, out National anthem, we have constructed a long of Singapore-centric identity, we have went through some tumultuous times. We went through highs and lows together. We have a story to tell, we must tell it proudly.
For us as a small nation, we need to push for patriotism. Plain and simple, we work hard, for God, for Country, for Family, not in any particular order. For me, I have this in front of me, in my office. I’m agnostic by choice so God for me is out. I work and strive, For Country, For Family. We must be proud to do our work as a Singaporean, for Singapore. We must be proud to hear our national anthem, and stand straight and proud. That is the identity our forefathers gave us, and we must carry that with pride. It was a gift from Singaporeans that came and went before us. They fought for the land we stand on and died so that we can continue standing on it.
I will probably die in the process too, fighting and striving so that you and your children and continue to stand on this land, free and proud that we own every single stalk of grass and grain. Every part of Singapore, is Singapore and it belongs to us, Singaporeans, it is time for us to stand, as individual Singaporean, and tell the whole world we love our land, we are proud of who we are, and we are willing to fight tooth and nail to keep Singapore, Singapore.