If you are not familiar with Chris Kyle, then perhaps you have heard of the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, which had a 37-week run on the New York Times best-seller list. The book was recently adapted into an Oscar-nominated film directed by Clint Eastwood, with Bradley Cooper playing the man who had 160 confirmed kills out of a possible 255. This is the facts, according to Chris Kyle's memoir, about the longest target he hit in combat, the 160 confirmed sniper killed, and his Christian Faith.
As most movies do, there are a lot of things that are true, but these true events did not have happened all at once. Slate reports that the three milestones that happened in the American Sniper film with defeating his sniper adversary Mustafa, avenging his friend Biggles, and making his longest successful shot, did not happen in one moment.
The Daily Caller reports that Chris Kyle once appeared on Conan O'Brien's late night talk show to promote his book and stated that his longest confirmed kill was 2,100 yards away, which is a little over a mile. Yes, Chris Kyle did make a shot that long, which is pretty impressive.
Kyle's memoir reports that Biggles, whose real name was Ryan Job, did not get shot in the head by Mustafa, surviving long enough to propose to his girlfriend, which is what the film depicts. Kyle's memoir reports that the Navy discharged Job from his service after his injury, and this ex-SEAL attended college, began a career, and got married before dying following facial reconstruction surgery while his wife was pregnant with their first child.
The sniper of Mustafa is a real person mentioned in Kyle's book, who he had once heard was some Olympics marksman who was using his skills against the Americans, Iraqi police, and soldiers. Kyle even says that there were several videos that had been made and posted that boasted of his ability. Kyle also states that he never even saw the Mustafa, and believes that "other snipers later killed an Iraqi sniper we think was him".
The one thing that was real about Chris Kyle is his Christian faith. While the film does at least mention it, the book delves into his faith a lot as he discusses the ethics of sniping, including his first sniper shot, when he had to kill an Iraqi woman holding a grenade. Religion News states that Kyle was not a "straight-laced Christian", as his book is full of profanities and family struggles, but the book talks a lot about his praying and his priorities of "God, Country, [and] Family".
Chris Kyle was killed on February 2, 2013 at a shooting range near Chalk Mountatin, Texas. Eddie Ray Routh, a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.