LETTERS: Skilled Navy SEAL Kyle invited scrutiny

To the editor:

Regardless of how anyone feels about war or about the military in general, nobody can question that Navy SEAL Chris Kyle loved his country and performed his military duties as a sniper with tremendous skill. With the release of “American Sniper,” the movie focusing on Mr. Kyle’s military life, it is troubling that many media commentators, entertainers, politicians and news figures have sought to tarnish Mr. Kyle’s memory with petty name-calling and other invectives.

However, it seems fair to point out that, by seeking recognition for his accomplishments, Mr. Kyle placed himself in the public light and essentially invited the scrutiny that we are seeing today. Among other provisions, the Navy SEAL code of conduct states, “I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans … I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions … I serve with honor on and off the battlefield … Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.”

Despite those provisions, in Mr. Kyle’s 2012 book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” he appears to intentionally seek recognition for his actions. Mr. Kyle appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including “Conan” and the “O’Reilly Factor,” to discuss his achievements and promote the book. More recently, the decision by Mr. Kyle’s family to participate in making a movie about his military life and tragic death off the battlefield is clearly intended, in part, to bring him recognition for his Navy SEAL status and his achievements.

Given the media commotion and the politicization surrounding the release of “American Sniper,” and the harsh scrutiny being directed at Mr. Kyle, perhaps it would have been wiser if he and his family had remained reserved and humble about his achievements, as code of conduct advises.

STEVE DANNING

LAS VEGAS

National monuments

To the editor:

I was disappointed to read about the introduction of a bill that would prohibit the creation of new national monuments in Nevada (“GOP bids to ban new national monuments,” Jan. 26 Review-Journal). In my opinion, it is very shortsighted and ignores the huge potential economic gains that can be realized.

Protected lands increase jobs and incomes. A 2014 study completed by Headwaters Economics found that job creation was four times higher in counties located adjacent to protected, public lands, compared with counties that were not, and personal incomes were on average $4,360 higher per capita.

Nevada communities, especially rural areas, can benefit greatly from the establishment of new national monuments. In addition to enhanced job creation and personal income, increased tourism would bring greater sales tax revenues. And this revenue stream is sustainable, providing a long-term, reliable means of income for Nevada communities. This is especially important for communities such as Mesquite, located at the doorstep of Gold Butte.

It is sad to see that some of our leaders are not thinking in the best interests of all Nevadans. I have contacted my representatives to let them know we need more permanently protected places, not less, and I would urge others to do the same.

ERIC LARSEN

LAS VEGAS

The author is a board member of Friends of Gold Butte.

Henderson property tax

To the editor:

Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen wants a “temporary” lifting of the property tax cap (“Henderson mayor upbeat in State of City appraisal,” Friday Review-Journal). Yeah, like that will happen. What does he intend to do with the property taxes from the hundreds of new houses, condominiums and apartments now being built, with more on the way?

Instead of building more unnecessary parks, creating a future budget drain with upkeep and employee costs, how about requiring builders to cut back their projects by four or five huge houses in lieu of bigger lot sizes, so homeowners can enjoy the backyards that they have paid big bucks for.

BILL L. WILSON

HENDERSON

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