When I saw American Sniper a few nights ago, I along with everyone in the theater was overcome with emotion about the story of Chris Kyle, the legendary US Navy Seal who became the most lethal sniper in United States history. The movie showcases the struggles that Kyle and all of our servicemen and women go through on and off the battlefield and the painful sacrifices them and their families have to make all in an effort to ensure that people like us are able to have our freedoms.
When the movie ended, the theater was so silent you could hear a pin drop. I later saw on social media that the same effect was felt in countless theaters across our great nation. The funny thing about silence is that it can be the most profound sound even if it is inaudible. The silence felt by myself and millions nationwide symbolized the deep love, respect, and appreciation for our military that was renewed with the movie reminding us of what the true cost of freedom is.
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That sentiment was echoed by New York Giants’ safety Nat Berhe, who took to Twitter after seeing the film and posted the following message three days ago, “Just watched “American Sniper.” Chris Kyle was a hero, don’t waste that word on people who don’t deserve it.”
His message captured the same feelings that we all felt after seeing the film, but Berhe did not end there. Feeling deeply inspired by what he saw, he decided to do something amazing for all military personnel, retired or active. The next day he posted, “I want to do something for our military personnel.”
He followed shortly after with “I’m giving away two tickets to any @Giants game for any military personnel who sends me the coolest picture of them in their military uniform.”
The responses he received were overwhelming, so overwhelming that Berhe posted this message once again via Twitter just a few hours later “I’m so moved by the pictures I’m going to do four (4) games. I will announce the winners on Friday. Send me your military pictures.” Berhe then made a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, an outstanding group that takes donations and ensures that they go toward the care of our nation’s wounded veterans.
Berhe then encouraged everyone to make a donation to the foundation stating “let’s support the real warriors, heroes, and veterans.” Berhe then closed the contest with a sincere thank you to our heroes “I want to thank every military service man or woman who participated in my ticket giveaway. I’m going to think of something cool to give…” Berhe also posted “Those who didn’t win, thanks again for your service. #RealMVPs.”
The generosity shown by Berhe is a shining example of a nation that loves and holds our heroes in the highest regard and deserve our gratitude and support. Berhe shows that despite all the negativity going on in not just the NFL, but in the world in general, there are still good people out there to restore our faith in humanity. What is great about Berhe is that he uses his stature as a public figure to reach broad audiences to echo the raw emotions we all felt when we saw American Sniper.
Berhe is a genuine class act and has become one of my favorite Giants because of his actions. Hopefully his actions help draw more attention to the needs of our nation’s heroes and the support that they need and deserve.
Berhe is a role model for all and sets an example that it is not all about us and that we have the freedoms to play games like football and have free speech because of the actions of our military members. So as I sit here writing this I feel the same silence that I felt right there in the theater at the end of the film.
It was the same silence that us and Berhe all felt and in that moment we realized that the silence was so loud it echoed across our nation and it made us remember who are true heroes really are.
So from the bottom of our hearts we, along with Nat Berhe, want to say “Thank You” to all our servicemen and women. You all truly are the real MVPs.