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Sunday brunch and a movie…

Posted by on January 25, 2015

JANUARY 25, 2015

brunchSUNDAY BRUNCH AND A MOVIE. Our Buckhorn friends have brunch most every Sunday at the cafeteria on the nearby campus of Schreiner University. Afterward, they take their dogs to the park so they can run around and get some exercise. We don’t have a dog, but we always have good appetites on Sunday morning so we usually join them for the breakfast part of their Sunday outing. After breakfast today, we went to the local Cinema 10 theater complex to see the recently-released movie American Sniper.


The beautiful campus of Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas. The cafeteria is open to the public.

BRUNCH AT SCHRIENER UNIVERSITY.  Schreiner University is a private liberal arts school located in Kerrville, Texas…not far from Buckhorn Lake where we’re spending the winter. It offers more than twenty four-year undergraduate programs and also MBA and Master of Education graduate degrees. The university is also home to Greystone Preparatory School which is a college level military service academy prep program for students who did not receive an appointment at the completion of high school. Tuition from this additional student population probably explains how such a small university can sustain all the beautiful old buildings and landscaping on campus.

A BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS. The university is named after Captain Charles Schreiner, and Schreiner descendents play  an important role in both the history and current operation of business property in the Kerrville area.  I’m not quite sure why the public is invited to dine in the commons, but I’m glad the school allows it. Eating there reminds me of my first year in college when I lived in Anacapa Residence Hall at UCSB and had meals in De La Guerra dining commons. Time flies! And no, I can’t tell you how in the world I still remember the names of those buildings at the University of California. I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can still name the residence hall where I lived for a year at school in 1965! Go figure.


The film took in more than 90 million dollars during its opening weekend. Pictured: Bradley Cooper playing Navy SEAL and legendary marksman Chris Kyle.

AMERICAN SNIPER, THE MOVIE. Widely released just a two weeks ago and setting attendance records left and right, this Clint Eastwood directed film is the biographical drama about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the deadliest marksman in US military history. During his four tours in Iraq, he had 255 sniper kills, 160 of which were officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. The film details not only his military accomplishments overseas, but also gives a glimpse of how combat affects not just the service member but also his family.  

A TRAGIC DEATH. Returning to his home in Texas after his fourth tour of duty, Kyle has trouble adjusting to civilian life. During a visit with a VA Hospital psychiatrist, Kyle confesses that he’s “haunted by all the guys he couldn’t save.” Following the doctor’s suggestion that he try to help wounded veterans, Kyle coaches them at a shooting range in the woods. The help he provides is therapeutic and he gradually begins to assimilate into normal civilian life with his wife and two young children. Years later, as he was working with a combat veteran at the range, tragedy occurred. The sub-title on the movie screen simply says, “Kyle was killed that day by a veteran he was trying to help.” The film ends with stock footage showing thousands of flag-waving Americans standing along the highway as Kyle’s funeral procession passes. Thousands more are shown attending his memorial service in Cowboys Stadium at Arlington, Texas. Now, don’t think you now know the story and don’t need to see the film. Not true. There is a lot I haven’t told you about it. Trust me, I haven’t spoiled your enjoyment in witnessing this true story of an American hero, whose marksmanship skills saved countless American lives. The film has received nominations for six Academy Awards including one for best picture. See it.


Hero or coward? What do the critics think happens during a war? Should combatants just “play nice?” What should we do, try to reason with Islamic extremists  who behead Americans? I think not!

THE CONTROVERSY. Controversy about the film began when Michael Moore took to Twitter and compared snipers to cowards. Provocateur Bill Maher has been critical of the film, as well. Moviegoers on both sides of the political spectrum have chimed in, debating everything from whether the film is too right-leaning to whether Kyle was as much a hero as Clint Eastwood makes him out to be. Even the most left-wing liberals ordinarily profess support for our combat troops. They may vehemently disagree with the politics of a war, but they ordinarily don’t criticize our fighting men and women. But oh, no. Not Michael Moore, who essentially calls the sniper Kyle a coward. “What’s the difference you moron…pulling a lanyard to fire a round 20 miles down range to kill the enemy or pulling a trigger to do the same thing with the enemy in your sights?” As Cooper has stated, “This movie was always a character study about what the plight is for a soldier…It’s not a political discussion about war.” Given the popularity of the film and its Academy Award nominations, I suspect there’s more controversy to come. The same fools who criticize the role of a military sniper are the ones who preach isolationism and refuse to define militant jihadists as our enemy or even characterize the war on terror as a war. I’ll never understand.

MY TAKE ON IT. I support Moore’s right to speak his mind but I cannot fathom how he fails to comprehend that it’s soldiers like Chris Kyle who guarantee that he’s got a right to do so. Chris Kyle is a true American hero! I think most moviegoers agree with me. American Sniper has grossed almost 155 million dollars in ticket sales during just two short weeks since the film was released. And folks aren’t going to see the film because they think Kyle was a coward, I guarantee it!



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