Chris Kyle killed 160 men in the line of duty. He saved many lives , both American and Iraqi, in doing that. He is called a Hero for those actions. He became well known, his book became well known. Because of that his attempts to help other Vets Who struggle with wounds and PTSD became know.
How many less known Vets have done the same thing, how many may have done the same thing in biting off more than they could crew, in helping someone with a sever mental disorder. If Kyle was the man they say he was, friendly helpful all of that, he had a conscious. No matter how justified the killing of 160 men, confirmed that you were the person who looked through a scope, picked that person out and killed each one.
Could he have been battling with demons of his own? Could his own battle and desire to help others deal with theirs, have clouded his judgment and keep him from seeing he was in to deep? The outdoors, shooting, hunting, fishing or just hiking, can as we all know be very relaxing and heal many troubles and wounds. But some are beyond that type of help and Kyle may have realized that just a moment to late. Just as many other less well known vets have found out with very bad results.
We are in a national debate on gun control, where every event involving a gun is put under some body’s microscope, for reasons we all know, Guns and Mental health now being the center of that debate. And in this current environment, Chris Kyle being a Hero, killed by a mentally disturbed person with a gun who may or may not suffered PTSD. Or just simply been a nut from the start with PTSD a small part of that, has added fuel to that fire. This may be a case of someone battling his own demons and a desire and/or need to help others failed to realize he could not help this person, and his own fame has propelled this to national news. Or there could have been other reasons that alone or together with the above caused this.
I had a group of friends; I hunted with if you could call it that. We would go to Dove or Deer camp, sit around a fire and swap stories, usually with a lot of alcohol involved. We had some good times, many an evening hunt would be called off because, guns and alcohol just do not mix. Hangovers would prevent some from doing a morning hunt.
There was a WWII vet, a Korean Vet, Vietnam vets, and other combat vets. Needless to say war stories good and bad were a part of all this. It may not be the case with all vets, but in those stories, it was easy to see that a good man with a conscious can regret some of the things he did. Killing may come natural to some; doing ones duty may give some comfort to others. Seeing one buddies or just the sh*t you see can take its toll. Every man handles those things in his own way;
I and the others watched one drink his problems and life away. We all would trust him with our lives. He was safe with a gun and would not pick one up after drinking to much. He would not harm anyone and loved to hunt and shoot, and take his son out, that gave him pleasure. He did seek help, but he had a demon he could not shake. I cannot imagine, what it would have done him to have his guns taken away, because he did suffer from PTSD as we know it now. He killed himself but not with a gun, it was Alcohol that ended his life, but not a gun.
He enjoyed the outdoors and sharing the shooting sports, with his son and us, it gave him some comfort from his demon and may have prolonged his life and the good memories he gave his son and us. The human mind is a very complex thing and some things just cannot be fixed. Lumping all PTSD into one category, with a fix all solution is not an answer. And in the end cause more harm than good.