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“ "It shows that we're still not ready to have an adult, clear-eyed conversation about the Iraq War. The wounds are still fresh. It's still heavily politicized." Politicized? It was a totally unnecessary and manufactured war. Absolutely nothing political about it. ”

L Barrett NPRFriday, January 23, 2015 4:33 PM


The movie American Sniper is a surprise box-office hit, but it has also become a lightning rod. Some critics say the film, based on the life of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, glorifies war. Others say it doesn't accurately portray the real Kyle. Still others say the movie — and the reactions to it — are an example of the deep disconnect between civilians and the military.

The vitriol has been ugly, the story complicated. There is no one truth. But when it comes to war, the most credible sources are often people who've experienced it firsthand.

Former Marine Jacob Schick is a warrior relations specialist with the Brain Performance Institute in Dallas. He has a small part in the movie as one of the veterans Kyle mentors. When Schick was in Iraq in 2004, the Humvee he was riding in hit a tank mine. "It blew right underneath me and then blew me through the top of the Humvee," he recalls. "Their guesstimation is 30 feet, and [I] stuck the landing on my head."

Former Marine Jacob Schick (at right) has a small part in American Sniper as one of the veterans mentored by Chris Kyle