Skip to main content

tv   Blockbuster The Story of American Sniper  CNN  February 18, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

6:00 pm
blockbuster the story of american sniper starts now. the following is a cnn special report. >> the biggest weekend ever for a film in january. the following is a cnn special report. >> the biggest weekend ever for a film in january. "american sniper". >> the greatest war movie of our time. >> $300 million. >> hopefully we can educate those of us who aren't really familiar with the plight of a soldier and a soldier's family. >> my only regret was the guys i couldn't save. that's what keeps me up at night. >> he knew he was serving a purpose. he knew he was saving lives. >> controversy. >> did he tell the whole truth? >> a propaganda film that is as authentic as dirty harry. >> the filmmaker michael moore called the snipers cowards. >> he was a protector. always has been from the time we were little. >> american sniper's success will impact jurors.
6:01 pm
good evening. i'm alisyn camerota. along with chris cuomo. smashed box office records becoming the most popular war movie in u.s. history. but why? >> the main reason is possibly the man at the center, former navy seal sniper chris kyle. his war experience in iraq clearly resonating with millions, and not just americans but the iraq war is one of the most unpopular conflicts in recent memory. so despite all the film's success, it is not without controversy. but all of this is worth a deeper look because american sniper has quickly become more than a movie. >> i just want to get the bad guys. >> the american movie that has become a national moment. >> i'm ready. >> clint eastwood's american sniper has already raked in six oscar nominations including best actor for bradley cooper and almost $300 million, making it
6:02 pm
the highest-grossing war film ever. it's chris kyle's story, the man navy seal known as the deadliest sniper in u.s. military history. over 160 confirmed kills. >> do you ever think that you might have seen things or done some things over there that you wished you hadn't? >> oh, that's not me, no. >> what's not you? >> i'm just protecting my guys. the thing that haunts me are all the guys that i couldn't save. >> and it is the story of what battles were fought by kyle and others after the war that may be deepening the film's impact. >> called snipers cowards. questions about the real life sniper. >> hits the box office, bull's eye. >> controversy has followed kyle as a patriot and hero. and some say the movie paints a
6:03 pm
largely rosy picture of america's invasion in iraq. >> don't pick it up. >> fuel to the fire came in the familiar form of michael moore who galvanized military supporters with this tweet "my uncle killed by sniper in world war ii. we were taught snipers were cowards. will shoot you in the back. snipers aren't heroes. and invaders are worse." was chris kyle a hero or coward? >> the very freedom that michael moore has is a gift given to him by god and protected by a strong military. >> this one is just american hero. he is a psychopath patriot, and we love him. >> moore later clarified on facebook he hadn't been referring to the movie specifically in his tweets. >> you're home? what are you doing? >> i guess i just needed a minute. >> but there is a larger dynamic at play.
6:04 pm
sniper exposes posttraumatic stress disorder, or ptsd. a largely underrepresented and underserved reality, facing america's fighting men, women, and their families. >> it's about the struggles that people go through being at home and being at war because more military vets are coming back because of medical advancements and we have to take care of them. >> kyle was killed by eddie ray routh, a u.s. veteran diagnosed with ptsd while the two were at a texas gun range. his murder trial is set to begin this week, a reminder of the human toll at the heart of this blockbuster. a disease that plagues america's warriors. and that's a truth as real as the enduring pain kyle's family still feels over his death. >> it's sort of a picture of humanity and what we go through when we fight for something we believe in and are affected by it and then have to fight to find our way back to each other. >> so who was chris kyle? let's bring in jeff kyle, chris' brother and a u.s. marine.
6:05 pm
scott mcewen and co-author of american sniper and james "spider" marx. he has signed chris kyle to his first vision in iraq. gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. jeff, i want to start with you. i just saw the movie yesterday. it is so powerful, so affecting, and it's impossible not to think that your brother was such an appealing guy. what did you think about bradley cooper's depiction of your brother? was he just like that? >> cooper did a really good job. i think, you know, he captured most everything about chris and put it in the movie. >> your brother was better lookin', let's be honest. >> oh, yeah. >> cooper fell a little short. >> right. >> there's a scene in the movie, and you are a veteran. thank you for your service. there is a scene in the movie, when you're in a theater and you run across each other. did that ever really happen? >> no, sir. >> what happened? you were supposed to be portraying, you were four years
6:06 pm
younger and you were there, you were having a hard time in the war and your brother comes. how was your relationship? if your brother knew that you were having any kind of trouble there, what do you think he would have done? >> oh, he would have dropped everything to do everything he sure. to come assist me, for and vice versa. >> but did you two have philosophical discussions about the war's mission? >> we did. after every deployment, we would get together, and that was our decompression time. we used each other to decompress, and we talked about our missions and talked about everything that was going on and helped each other through everything. >> scott, i want to bring you in. this movie has broken all sorts of records. it is a bonanza. the most popular american war movie ever, they call it. why do you think it has struck such a chord with the american public? >> well, i want to say, first of all, jeff, it's good to see you. your brother really respected
6:07 pm
you and loved you. made it clear you were an important part of his life as well. hadn't had a chance to tell you. but that scene in the movie was not from the book, as you know, but i'll have my discussion with jason about that later. yeah, i think it's broken all records because of the fact that it really breaks down the experience of hundreds of thousands of troops that have been to battle for this country for the last 13 years. a lot of people don't realize it, but we've had back to back deployments by chris and jeff from our military for almost 14 years now in afghanistan and iraq. and what we wanted to tell was not just the story of chris but the story of all americans and families who have gone to war, come home and deal with the deployments and things that you have to deal with, with your family. i think it struck a nerve with a lot of people, not just because chris was a patriot and amazing individual, but because it's an experience that all of america's gone through and a lot of people know a lot of people who have been through very similar
6:08 pm
things. >> and it's a reality that you can't repeat enough. general, you know, the statistic about you sending him off on his mission or not. what was the reputation of the man and tell us why you do believe and echo what scot has said, that there are a lot of soldiers who fit this mold. >> there are an immense number of personal stories. i did not know chris kyle, but i knew thousands of chris kyles. the mission in iraq. it was the gas/oil platform on the northern gulf, and we had to secure that. our concern certainly, was that saddam was going to set it afire. so the seals had that mission and chris was on that team. so this is very personal in a whole bunch of ways. it's quite an amazing story, because what i think it does is it grabs the viewer and puts him and her in this rather fulsome
6:09 pm
experience of combat and the in and out of combat. you're in combat and then you're back home. how do you achieve some degree of normalcy? clearly, chris struggled with it. and i would argue that most veterans do when they come back from combat. you're so deep and narrow and the complications of living have been pushed aside and the real heroes are your brides at home and your family members who have to deal with all of that while you fulfill your mission. >> jeff, you're nodding along as you listen to general marx comments. >> he was just like the rest of us when he came back. it took a toll on him. to the outsider, you couldn't tell, but to the family and to his close friends and teammates, yeah. you know, because we all know. we've been there. we know what he's struggling with. and, you know, we could tell.
6:10 pm
>> did it help you with each other? like, you know, you may not want to deal with what was inside you, but you saw it in him and vice versa, as brothers? >> yes, and like i said before, we would discuss everything after each deployment, and we would compare how each other's deployments were and would decompress, and i think that would help us get through our next deployments. >> there's this really affecting moment in the movie where another soldier tries to thank your brother for saving his life. let's just play a little clip of that. >> are you chief chris kyle? >> yes, sir. >> my name is mads. we met in fallujah, you saved my life. >> i did? >> yes, sir. we were stuck in a house until you came in with first marines. you were the one who carried me out. >> well, the marines saved our ass plenty of times. how are you? are you holding up?
6:11 pm
>> great. i'm just grateful to be alive. >> the movie makes it seem as if that's an uncomfortable moment for him. he doesn't really want to be thanked. >> it was. he wasn't doing it for the thank yous. he did it because he cared about each and every one of the americans over there. and, you know, about the citizens over there. you know, so he wasn't doing it for all the publicity. he wasn't doing it for the thank yous. he wasn't doing it to earn the name the legend. he did it because he actually cared. and that's what his whole mission was. >> scott, one of the challenges for you, is to, when you're writing the book, nobody sees themselves the way others do. and what was it do you think that chris kyle had to accept in the process of doing his story with you about himself that he may not wanted to ascribe to himself. what qualities of him did you have to convince, yes, this is you? >> well, i think that chris was very unassuming and really not even the type of guy that would
6:12 pm
want to tell his stories outside of the fact that his teammates and everyone else expressed to me that this guy really was an amazing story. and chris got into it and started telling the different things that had taken place during his deployments, and particularly in fallujah and ramadi, where it was such a difficult time, not only for chris, but the seals and the marines, such as jeff, because it was really a mess. and these guys were dropped into the middle of a firefight every day. and they really were living every day almost like a normandy or an iwo jima or something of that nature, because it was firefights that were constant, day after day after day. and i was amazed when i heard it and said chris, i think this is historical, beyond the fact that you have the most confirmed kills in united states history. what you guys went through, and what you lost with the loss of, you know, ryan job and mark lee should be told.
6:13 pm
and as far as history is concerned, this is our times, you know, battle of normandy beach or battle to take the mountain at suribachi or whatever else. and i felt like it was that historical, and i really tried to get him to talk about it even more because i felt it was something that really generations to come should know about this generation of war fighter that were patriots such as chris and the rest of those that fought for this country. and i'm really happy that i was effective in finally getting him to do it and tell his story, because the whole coming home and the family thing started later. it started out first to be a story about his experiences with the men on s.e.a.l. team three charlie and the others that he fought with from the marines. and i feel like it was very important that we got that down. >> scott, jeff, stick around, if you would, general marx, thanks so much for being on and your service and expertise. thank you. >> my pleasure.
6:14 pm
thanks, guys. >> we're talking about chris kyle and who he was. so you have a better handle of that. what mattered to him, especially when he came home. we're going to tell you about that and why he cared so much. why do we do it? why do we spend every waking moment, thinking about people? why are we so committed to keeping you connected? why combine performance with a conscience? why innovate for a future without accidents? why do any of it? why do all of it? because if it matters to you, it's everything to us. the xc60 crossover. from volvo. lease the well-equipped volvo xc60 today. visit your local volvo showroom for details. lease the well-equipped volvo xc60 today. there's nothing more romantic than a spontaneous moment. so why pause to take a pill?
6:15 pm
and why stop what you're doing to find a bathroom? with cialis for daily use, you don't have to plan around either. it's the only daily tablet approved to treat erectile dysfunction so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. plus cialis treats the frustrating urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or any symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. why pause the moment? ask your doctor about cialis for daily use. for a free 30-tablet trial go to cialis.com
6:16 pm
...the getaway vehicle! for all the confidence you need. td ameritrade. you got this. i'm spending too much time hiring and not enough time in my kitchen. [ female announcer ] need to hire fast? go to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over 30 of the web's leading job boards with a single click; then simply select the best candidates from one easy to review list. you put up one post and the next day you have all these candidates. makes my job a lot easier. [ female announcer ] over 100,000 businesses have already used zip recruiter and now you can use zip recruiter for free at a special site for tv viewers; go to ziprecruiter.com/offer5.
6:17 pm
at a special site for tv viewers; make you feel like a doepowerful titan of industry? then you might be gearcentric. visit our president's day sale and save 40% on select furniture. office depot & officemax. gear up for great. hurt locker made $17 million, because it was a little ambiguous and thoughtful. and this one is just american
6:18 pm
hero. he's a psychopath patriot, and we love him. >> "american sniper" glorifies war or simplies shows one man's truth. let's discuss the real deal here. >> we're joined by chris kyle's brother. and we're also joined by shawn parnell and "new york times" best selling author of "outlaw platoon." gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. jeff, are you surprised by some of the controversy and pushback that the movie has had? >> not at all. there's always going to be nay sayers out there. it doesn't matter who it is. doesn't matter if it's chris or somebody else. they are always going to say something derogatory about somebody else. we did what we did for them to be able to. >> right. >> talk their trash. so you're welcome. >> so you go with the haters are
6:19 pm
going to hate, and you give them that right by fighting for their freedom. let me ask you a little bit different take on it. you are over there doing the mission. this is what you're told to do. nobody asks you if you want to did the mission once you volunteered. nobody asked you to discuss the merits of the mission. do you think that's lost a little bit in this when people criticize the war, how we got into it, how long. >> yeah, i think that's absolutely the case. if you watched "american sniper", and you saw a political commentary on the iraq war or a failed study on weapons of mass destruction. then you were not seeing what most of america's warriors saw and that was like a window into the heart of the modern american war fighter. and it focuses on the struggle, not just on the battlefield, but at home. that's critical to understand for what it's like for americans like jeff and i to come home.
6:20 pm
>> do you think this is a pro-war movie? an anti-war movie? what is the message? >> well, what i like about it is the fact that you can't really tell. and it's just reality. and that's what clint and bradley and jason hall did such a good job of, is you leave it for what it is. because it's the truth. it tells the truth about the american experience and the soldiers' experience, and i wouldn't categorize it as anything more than to say if you're going to send our men and women to battle in foreign lands, then you better expect that there's going to be casualties taken, and you better give them the resources to fight and win the wars. and all i can say is chris, and what clint did with his story is to tell you this is what is going on. so, america, we need to fight and defend this country, and if you're going to do it, then just be real about what happens when you do do it and give the men and women the resources to fight the battles. that's what this movie does a great job of. >> and you have to be real with the perspective on it. maher is doing what he does.
6:21 pm
going for a hyperbole there. psychopath is not just inaccurate, but it as certainly insensitive. let's focus on chris's own words. put up what he said and i want some context from those who knew him. okay? this is obviously about the number of kills. the number is not important to me, i only wish i had killed more. not for bragging rights, but because i believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking american lives. now, people could take that as, all iraqis are savages. see, he's a bigot. do you think that's a fair reckoning? >> no. it doesn't matter what war you're in. yes, our era, they were iraqis or afghanis. so yes, you have to have a certain hate for those people, because they're trying to kill you. if you don't have that certain hatred for them, you're not going to come home. any other war, the vietnam war, those men over there, they had a hatred for the vietnamese.
6:22 pm
and they had to. that's just what we do. >> exactly. and i don't think chris was referring to the iraqi people there. i think he was referring to the enemy that we face. and they are. and when i was in afghanistan, jeff was deployed to iraq. we fought against people who threw grenades into the cradles of new born babies. we fought against an enemy that beheaded children. that stoned children to death. an enemy that didn't want women to be educated, an enemy that gouged the eyes out of little kids and knocked their teeth out so they would be more pleasurable in bid. and chris knew and understood that. the interesting thing about chris is that he had the purest form of patriotism and love of country than i've ever seen in my entire life. and it was contagious. and i think we need more people like that in this nation. >> what was it that you think your brother would have wanted to come out of the film? >> i think the message that
6:23 pm
everybody's received. it wasn't him in that movie. every parent, every brother, every sister can put their sibling or their child in that position and see what they went through while they were in country, and then while they were who they were when they came home. they weren't their little child anymore when they came home. war changes people. so i think this movie actually, it shows that. you know, it's not just chris's story. it's every warrior out there that's ever been in combat, that's been in country and then come home. it's all of us. >> shawn parnell, scott mcewen, and jeff kyle, just great to meet you. thanks so much for sharing your story of your brother with us. we really appreciate that. >> thank y'all. >> well, you might be surprised to know that this blockbuster film played in baghdad, but not anymore. we'll tell you what went wrong, next. dad: he's our broker. he helps looks after all our money.
6:24 pm
kid: do you pay him? dad: of course. kid: how much? dad: i don't know exactly. kid: what if you're not happy? does he have to pay you back? dad: nope. kid: why not? dad: it doesn't work that way. kid: why not? vo: are you asking enough questions about the way your wealth is managed? wealth management at charles schwab i have the flu with a runny nose. [coughs] better take something. theraflu severe cold won't treat your runny nose. really? alka-seltzer severe cold and flu relieves your worst flu symptoms plus runny nose. [breath of relief] oh, what a relief it is. mommy! hey! the smartest or nothing. the quietest or nothing.
6:25 pm
the sleekest... ...sexiest, ...baddest, ...safest, ...tightest, ...quickest... ...harshest... ...or nothing. at mercedes-benz, we do things one way or we don't do them at all. the 2015 c-class. see your authorized mercedes- benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. you aren't treated like a priority. we do things differently. we'll take care of it. we put members first. join the nation. thank you. ♪ nationwide is on your side
6:26 pm
6:27 pm
yards out, moving toward the convey. she's got a grenade. she's got rkg. >> "american sniper" causing controversy not only here but in iraq.
6:28 pm
after just a few heated showings, the film was pulled from the only theater showing it in baghdad. >> we're joined now by liz sly. she's the beirut bureau chief. and she wrote a column about the reaction to "american sniper" in iraq and the government's response to it. she joins us now from lebanon. liz, we know that you had wanted to see the movie in baghdad, but you couldn't. so tell us what happened? >> i had arrived in baghdad. a friend of mine told me it was playing at the mall there. i said wow, let's go. i thought it would be fun to see it in baghdad. we found out it had just been pulled. i spoke to a number of iraqis who had seen it about their reactions and i interviewed them about their reaction in the theater. but i did not see it myself. >> and what was their reaction to this movie? we understand that it got really heated. so what did they tell you? >> one showing of the movie in particular appeared to get
6:29 pm
heated with some people in the front row jumping up and shouting "lies, lies." at one particular point, and they wouldn't sit down and security guards came and led them away. and it was shortly after that, that the movie was pulled. people at the theater were very concerned that if they continued to show the movie, there could have been some violent reaction, perhaps retaliation, perhaps a terrorist act. something like that. >> you write a scene of a child holding a grenade that we just played before we came into this segment. that was a flash point. why, do you think people don't believe that could have happened? what's the reaction? >> i think people, some people specifically told me that they had served in the military, and an rpg would be too heavy for a child to lift up. and that was therefore, physically impossible. and this played into a sense that the whole movie was
6:30 pm
conveying a misperception of the iraq war, that it wasn't telling the truth from the iraqi point of view. and they found the whole movie, the whole portrayal of iraqis as savages very offensive. >> that's not surprising. when you watch this movie, it does show chris kyle fighting the enemy and the enemy is depicted as everyone he's seeing in his world there in theater of the iraqis. i'm surprised that it even tried to open in baghdad, frankly. >> yes. i'm not surprised at all. extremely complicated for you. you have sunnis fighting with the americans. le sunnis fighting against the americans. you had shia fighting with the americans, shia fighting against the americans. sunni and shia fighting against each other. so to portray all iraqis is just against the americans not having contributed at all to the effort to bring peace to the country. i can totally understand why they found it very offensive. >> and yet it does wind up being a window as to how the iraqi people see the united states. from the u.s. perspective, the u.s. were liberators. they went there to help remove a
6:31 pm
despot and free a people. but what has the evolution been there of common sentiment? >> i think iraqis have a much more nuanced view of the world than america. some of them did see the americans as liberators. saddam hussein was a tyrant. but all the bloodshed of the years that followed their invasion, the political mistakes, the huge upheaval that followed that, iraqis no longer see the americans as liberators. they see them as a giant ordeal that they had to live with and they're glad to be rid of now. and i think a movie like this plays into the perception among iraqis that america never understood iraq and perhaps never will. >> liz bly, thanks so much for sharing the situation on the ground there. nice to talk to you. >> will they show eddie routh knew exactly what he was doing? we have the latest with the legal experts coming up.
6:32 pm
6:33 pm
6:34 pm
6:35 pm
routh know what he was doing was wrong? it's the only question the "american sniper" murder trial, they'll have to focus on.
6:36 pm
in some cases, tortured and bizarre. here's cnn's ed lavandera with more. >> reporter: chris kyle and his routh is the lead character. as attorneys try to unravel the mind of this confessed killer. >> he thought he had to take their lives because he was in danger. >> did he intentionally cause their death, and when he did, did he know what was doing was wrong? >> hours after littlefield, had a bloodstain on his boot. at first, the former marine said my adrenaline was so high, i didn't know what was right. i didn't know what was wrong. but the investigator repeatedly asks routh if he knew killing kyle and littlefield was wrong. routh repeatedly says, yes, and if he could, he would tell the
6:37 pm
victim's families, i am so sorry. defense attorneys brought into the courtroom the small arsenal of weapons chris kyle brought to the gun range that fateful day. a collection of handguns, used to kill kyle and littlefield multiple times in the back. defense attorney say routh felt like he was walking into a showdown. >> he thought in his mind that at that point in time, it was either him or them. >> reporter: the american sniper trial jury has seen and heard eddie ray routh like never before. in the back of a police car saying i've been so paranoid schizophrenic all day, i don't know what to think of the world right now. to the jailhouse interview with the new york city writer where routh said he saw the gun range with the duel between him and chris kyle. it's a riveting journey into the bizarre and twisted world of eddie ray routh.
6:38 pm
>> joining us now, sunny hostin and jeffrey toobin. sunny, let me start with you. the federal prosecution now rested its case. what were the strongest points zm. >> i think the prosecution had a good case. five days with this kind of case. i think using the victim's own words, quite frankly, the text message that kyle sent saying this guy is nuts, almost contemporaneous to the incident, i thought that was strong and put on that sort of confession he gave. the police interview. that was a very good way to bookend this kind of case because that's the lasting impression that will be left with the jury. >> jeffrey, the prosecution theory there was, let's put on the stuff that may be damaging to us to at least define it ourselves and yet, it is arguably damaging to them. this is a man who does seem different. look at the pictures from the night he committed the murders
6:39 pm
and the pictures of him now. how much weight he gained. he's obviously different. could it work against him, they had to put it on, but the things eddie ray routh said could feed the jury the obvious impression he is disturbed. >> yes. and the question that the prosecution never really answered and maybe can't answer, maybe no one can answer is why did routh shoot these people? i don't know. i mean, i just -- there is no rational reason for what he did. we know he did it. we know the jurors don't like the insanity defense and almost invariably reject it. but yet the question of why he shot them is a mystery today just as it was at the beginning of the trial. >> eddie ray routh said he felt he was in a duel with chris kyle in the head. he had to shoot them before they shot him. is that the moment he's having a
6:40 pm
psychosis? maybe not in the back of the police car or giving the confession, but at that moment. >> let's bring up that crucial point. these are everyday people using their common sense when they're in that jury room deliberating. and they're going to say, are these the actions of a rational person? legal insanity is just that. it's a legal construct. so they're going to be instructed on the law that he really had to know his actions were wrong, even with the history of mental illness. they're going back into the jury room to think, are these the actions of a normal person? someone that isn't suffering from psychosis and, my goodness, why did he shoot someone that was trying to help him? you know, bottom line as prosecutors never have to prove motive, but it is the one question that juries have. they are going to wonder if he wasn't insane, why would he shoot these two men? >> there was no good reason and that's part of what's wrong with this guy as opposed to what's ill or sick with this guy. but then, it goes from something
6:41 pm
very simple, jeffrey, to something very complicated. the simple part is the texas statute on insanity is narrow. whether you knew it was right or wrong at the time you did it. it's very narrow. easier to prove. but then it complicates. chris kyle's life was taken. chad littlefield's life was taken. kyle wanted to help guys like the defendant. this gets complicated for the jury to figure out what matters most. how do they keep it straight? >> it's very difficult. when you start getting into why people do what they do, it is hard for even rational people to explain why they did what they did when they did wrong in their lives. and to ask a jury to untangle the motives for this, frankly, bizarre and awful crime, it is difficult. but, again, i think it's important to keep the big picture in mind, which is that ultimately, jurors feel like they don't want to be cutting a break to someone who did
6:42 pm
something so terrible. so if there is any sort of ambiguity, i think it's going to skew in favor of the prosecution. because they are not going to want to cut this guy a break, even though there is ample evidence that he was not in his right mind. >> sunny, do you agree? >> yeah, i do agree. when you look at the stats about insanity defenses that brought up, i guess it's brought up less than 1% of the time and only successful in about 25% of those cases. so certainly, even in a case like this where i think there is a real chance for the defense to prove insanity, it is unlikely that the jury will rule in the defense's favor. but again, i mean, if ever there was a case that insanity is appropriate, isn't that this case? isn't that this case? >> we'll see. jeffrey toobin, sunny hostin. thank you very much. "american sniper" highlights. the battle against when they
6:43 pm
come home, post-traumatic stress. . why do we do it? why do we spend every waking moment, thinking about people? why are we so committed to keeping you connected? why combine performance with a conscience? why innovate for a future without accidents? why do any of it? why do all of it? because if it matters to you, it's everything to us. the xc60 crossover. from volvo. lease the well-equipped volvo xc60 today. visit your local volvo showroom for details. lease the well-equipped volvo xc60 today. you choose the salad.e.
6:44 pm
occasionally. but staying well - physically, financially, emotionally - its hard on your own. so cigna's got your back, and your knees, 24/7. cigna's there to answer your questions. or when you need some coaching. in sickness and in health, cigna's there, helping you to get well and stay well. that's having a partner, who's with you all the way. cigna.
6:45 pm
6:46 pm
6:47 pm
all the guys that i couldn't save. now i'm willing and able to be there, but i'm not. i'm here. i quit. >> you can walk down any hall in this hospital. we've got plenty of soldiers that need saving. >> mm-hm. >> want to take a walk? >> sure. >> that's the moment in "american sniper", when chris kyle decides to dedicate his life to mentoring veterans, especially with post-traumatic stress. the trial of the man accused of killing kyle and his friend has put pts back in the spotlight. >> author of rule number two, lessons i learned in a combat hospital. brandon webb a former navy seal who helped train chris kyle, the
6:48 pm
author of "among heroes" and bob woodruff is a correspondent who was hit by a road side bomb in 2006. i want to start with you, brandon. you have a fascinating job. you were the head instructor in the navy seal sniper program that trained chris kyle. and i'm wondering, is there a particular personality type that lends itself to becoming a sniper? >> i think the guys that really excel, as a sniper, have an ability to really manage stress and make complex decisions under pressure. and we look for those candidates. you and i were talking earlier before the segment, we put them in situations, artificially induced, very high levels of stress to see who has it and who doesn't. >> and do you think that that somehow is a buffer against pts when they come home? >> i think the special operations community as a whole has a much lower rate or frequency of guys that don't
6:49 pm
deal with ptsd effectively. we just -- they show up to training and make it through because we have an ability to deal with adverse situations and especially as a sniper, we look for those individuals that have those characteristics that can really deal with some terrible situations and be able to make complex calculations for wind, and lead. and sometimes even the spin of the earth will factor into the shots that have longer distance. >> but functioning, dealing, those two things are not very helpful. bob, you and i have taken this seriously for a very long time. what have you seen in terms of whether you're a sniper or whether you're a cook. what happens for fighting men and women when they come back home and how it affects their family? what have you seen? >> a lot of it is what they saw, what they lived through, absolutely.
6:50 pm
what kind of trauma triggered it off and the transition from this very different world of fight manage the war and where you don't know where the enemies are and where the weapons are, and creating the stress from the multiple deployments that the all of ours have served go through, but it depends on the transition. because they are going from the war where they have served with the unit, and go to where they have been through, and then to the gigantic world which is spread out, and you don't know what to do, and most of it is linked back to the trauma that you have lived through and then to the brand new world that you don't know how to deal with >> and heidi n the movie "american sniper" it seems that chris kyle did come back with the ptsd, and depress and then he found his calling to help others with the ptsd and is that e realistic to come back to help others, and put behind you? >> absolutely.
6:51 pm
no doubt about it. we have treatment for all kinds of trauma both the ptsd and everything on the continuum of symptoms, and or those who have gone through the symptoms and helping others to feel like they can give back to the community, and those who feel like they are in similar situation, it is really helpful, and it is going to give a feeling of hope and looking forward and feeling like there is a greater sense of their being and what they are all about. >> and you have can versus do though? and do has two layers. the first is are you ready? can you handle it? do you want to admit it? and especially these men and women feel like they put too much on the familys and now another layer of i have more to burden you at home, and then the system, and unpack that, how hard for someone to say, i can't
6:52 pm
handle this? there is something that i can't handle. >> well, it is not a problem, but to heidi's point, and to your point, the national conversation about pts needs to change to the positive-solution approach, and i hear the compla complaining about the department of veteran affair, and why myself and others feel like we need to put matters into our hands like my foundation, and bob's foundation make a positive spin to the transitioning v veterans, because we have a situation in the sniper program to change it to the positive a approach. once we saw the 30% failure rate go to 3%. >> and you have seen it with the foundation, when you give the resources, and make sure that the people know that there are people there for them, and that i have a network, what changes are you seeing? >> well, one of them, heidi mentioned that sometimes it is difficult, or you said that it
6:53 pm
is difficult for people to talk about it, and that is completely changing over time. it is to get over the stigma to seem unmanly to come back to say that you have ptsd, and we have looked at it differently, and all of us don't call it ptsd, and take off the "d" to not call it a disorder. and it is not the pts, that you are fighting here after a war, but it is something that you have changed over time, and in different ways we are seeing in the beginning, we we were caring about those in the icu and those just injure and then to help them when they go back to their communities, because many know veterans in the the neighborhoods, because we have 1% of the americans serving in the war compared to the previous wars that we had, and now we are looking as you said veterans helping the veterans which is what you are doing, because
6:54 pm
those are incredibly efficient and effective to do this, and you know, service dogs. you get them to come back to train the service dogs to help others, and a good friend of ours to come back, and he is not taking the drugs, pause he is now training the the dogs to help the friend, and so now it is working well and getting better as the time goes on. >> heidi, the movie did a good job to e depicting the trauma o the family at home while they are worry d aied about the sold oversea, and what help for them? >> well, there is certainly many programs trying to reach out to the familys, but this is more difficult, of course. it is harder to know where they are at any given time, and there is a greater understanding now when we talk about the pts or the ptsd, and how it can be spread across the terrible or the horrible things happening to the loved ones as well that can
6:55 pm
lead to the symptoms. so we are having a greater understanding now about all of the people involved in that sold eier, marine, sailor, airman's experience and making sure that they are all sort of included when we talk about that picture. as a clinician, i am certainly always asking about the family, and i want to know about everyone who might be affected by the experiences that my patient might have experienced. >> and people have to want to help also, and that is why the people have to be this in clinical like heidi and the two gentlemen with the work you do and the organization, and bob, you know, i love what you do, and that makes a difference, because you are helping the right people, and thank you for helping us to get the message out. >> thank you for hearing about all of the progress being done. we will have some closing thoughts on "american sniper" right after this break. if you have high blood sugar, ask your doctor about farxiga. it's a different kind of medicine that works by removing
6:56 pm
some sugar from your body. along with diet and exercise, farxiga helps lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. with one pill a day, farxiga helps lower your a1c. and, although it's not a weight-loss or blood-pressure drug, farxiga may help you lose weight and may even lower blood pressure when used with certain diabetes medicines. do not take if allergic to farxiga or its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include rash, swelling or difficulty breathing or swallowing. if you have any of these symptoms, stop taking farxiga and seek medical help right away.. do not take farxiga if you have severe kidney problems, are on dialysis, or have bladder cancer. tell your doctor right away if you have blood or red color in your urine or pain while you urinate. farxiga can cause serious side effects, including dehydration, genital yeast infections in women and men, low blood sugar,kidney problems, and increased bad cholesterol. common side effects include urinary tract infections, changes in urination,
6:57 pm
and runny nose. ♪do the walk of life ♪yeah, you do the walk of life need to lower your blood sugar? ask your doctor about farxiga and visit our website to learn how you may be able to get every month free.
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
highest grossing war movie in american history. chris kyle's story has struck a chord with americans. some feel it is propaganda and some feel it is patriotic, and not political and celebrates the bravery of american men and women in uniform. >> and it is not the bravery, but it is what remains the familys and the missing moms and dads and the sons and daughters and the battles that continue when they come home, and
7:00 pm
especially the plague of pts and if you want, you can forget the politics of the film, but do not forget what matters most, helping the troops, and thank you for watching. "c nshnn with don lemon" begins "c nshnn with don lemon" begins right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we will hear from a retired navy s.e.a.l. who served two tours of duty with chris kyle, and co-starred in "american sniper" with bradley cooper, and taught the cast how to fire a with weapon in the movie. and tonight, president barack obama denounces isis as desperate for legitimacy. >> they are not religious leaders, but terrorists. >> and is isis sinking to a new level of barberism. they believe that the organs are being

29 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on