10/31/2023 (Day #4325)
1. What prompted me to choose this book?
I originally chose this book when it first came out because I was familiar with Chris Kyle’s service as a renowned Marine Corps sniper in the Middle East, and his tragic death after he separated from the service. His service to country entailed 4 combat tours and he saved countless American lives. He was so proficient that a bounty had been placed on him by enemy forces. Upon returning home, his deep belief in service to country drove him to help other veterans deal with the post-combat trauma. It was one of the vets he was trying to help who shot and killed Chris Kyle.
I’ve long held Chris Kyle and Pat Tillman in the highest regard for their service and patriotism, their willingness and commitment to serve are what I consider the epitome of duty and honor. I also gained tremendous respect and admiration for Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s wife, from reading this book, for her willingness and commitment to stand by him as he put country before family in his beliefs system, allowing him to do what he felt was his duty and do it at an elite level as a Navy SEAL. While he served, she remained steadfast and unwavering through the hardships and sacrifices his service entailed. Her own sacrifices, including selflessly accepting that her beliefs about the family’s place in his hierarchy of God, country, family, meant re-assessing and prioritizing her own beliefs to preserve their relationship and be supportive of his as he did his part in the War on Terror in the Middle East.
2. What did I learn from reading this book?
I learned about Chris Kyle’s hierarchy of values and beliefs – God, family, country – and his willingness to put country ahead of family out of his sense of duty and obligation to serve alongside his SEAL brothers as they worked to defeat enemy combatants while protecting other U.S. and allied troops in the war. It was his profound patriotism and loyalty to American that drove him, even as it threatened his marriage and took him away from his kids early years. And what I learned of Taya Kyle’s dedication and devotion to him enlightened me to qualities and character that I’ve realized are highly important on my “checklist of desirable attributes” for a future partner.
I read this book yearly sometime around Veterans Day to remind myself what it is to be patriotic, honorable, and committed to service to others, as well as what it looks like for a relationship to have unconditional love and mutual support of each other’s beliefs and values, to help each other pursue their dreams.
3. How will reading this book contribute to my post-release success?
It contributes to my post-release success by keeping me reminded of the importance of service to others as I navigate that and seek opportunities to accomplish that in my post-release objectives. Having the reminder helps to keep me focused on that. Reading this book also informs my “ideals” for a future partner to share life with – somewhere out there I hope I can find my own Taya Kyle who will stand by me despite my past behavior and allow me to support her in her endeavors.