American Sniper is leading the box office for the second week in a row and on track to be the highest-grossing war film ever.
However, this success hasn't come without Hollywood criticism. Film director Michael Moore has continued making headlines since his initial tweet about snipers being cowards.
He has doubled down on his comments by saying he's done more for veterans than snipers:
IJReview talked to one of Chris Kyle's friends, Dale Comstock, who met the SEAL on the set of Stars Earn Stripes and continued to keep in touch after the show:
Here's what the former Delta Force Operator and author of American Badass had to say about Moore's perspective:
Unless you’ve been in combat you’ve got no opinion on how combat works. What’s the premise of his argument? Does that mean that people who shoot artillery weapons, fly fighter jets and close attack helicopters are cowards because they’re not right in your face? It’s called smart warfare.
I’d rather shoot someone from afar. I don’t look at my adversary as someone I hold a personal grudge with. I look at him as the opposing team and I’m here to win. He’s a soldier and I’m a soldier. When you go into combat to fight, you expect certain things.
I’ve actually made friends with several of my adversaries. One of who, at one time, I was pointing weapons at from twenty five meters away.
Also, one of my best friends used to be in East German special forces. We were enemies at one time. Today, we’re good friends and business associates.
A sniper is far from a coward. They are skilled marksmen who use psychological warfare to scare the enemy. They make you keep your head down. They keep you paralyzed. And they will kill you because that’s their objective.
And for Michael Moore to call a sniper a coward…claiming he supports the military by hiring veterans and Special Forces guys. He says they’re his bodyguards. How hypocritical!
I don’t even know a soldier who fights the enemy in a combat role that has had anything positive to say about Moore.
Then, Comstock addressed Moore's thoughts on Iraq:
99% of the soldiers I know supported George Bush and supported the war. I’m referring to SEALs, Delta, Green Berets and the Rangers. I'll tell you what was most important: We went to save those people from Saddam’s family and their vicious butchery.
Screw Michael Moore’s idea of why we went. We saved the Iraqi people from the devil itself. Aside from the oil and the WMDs, we still went there for the right reasons. And we found WMDs, too.
So when Michael Moore and his buddies comment on how we are warmongers and killers from their armchair or sofa, offering their perspective — Guess what? They don’t get a perspective because they weren’t there, and I was.
I’ve seen the sex palaces that Saddam’s family ran, where they kidnapped women and handcuffed and drugged them. They raped them again and again.
While in Iraq, a source I interviewed told me that he had some cows cross onto Saddam's son, Uday's land. When the source protested and ask for his cows back, Uday had his wife and kids raped, then murdered. Then, Uday asked if he still wanted his cows back. You should be proud to destroy that type of evil.
As the conversation continued, Comstock elaborated on how he sees Moore's support for veterans:
And Michael Moore talks about how he supports the veterans and the military. Moore is in it for himself. He’s earned millions off sensationalism and fear tactics. Moore will help a veteran, if he can make a dollar off them.
He acts like soldiers and veterans are stupid. Well, I’ve got a PHD and a master’s degree on top of 20 years in the military. I served in every campaign from Grenada to present-day conflicts.
See, Moore is coward. That’s the only word to describe him. No self-respecting veteran would protect Michael Moore. And if they do, I want to see Moore produce the DD214s and evidence that they are protecting him.
He is one of the most dishonorable and disrespectful human beings alive. How low do you have to stoop to attack a dead man?
He then touched on how some of Hollywood sees veterans.
What’s upsetting is how some of Hollywood looks at veterans as an opportunity to make a dollar. However, when the war passes they’ll go back to their agenda of slamming veterans. They make all these movies off soldiers’ stories. But at the end of the day unless it’s someone like Clint Eastwood, they go back to vilifying us.
Comstock ended by clarifying why Chris Kyle was far from a cold-blooded killer.
Look, Chris Kyle had to do a job. He wasn’t a bloodthirsty psycho killer. He wasn’t crazy. He was just the best at what he did. It doesn’t make him a bad person. Kyle is a hero and he is more of a man than Michael Moore will ever be.
What people should be talking about is not how many people he killed, but acknowledge all the lives he saved. Because that’s what Kyle’s legacy really was, saving lives.
As American heroes like Comstock have dedicated their lives to serving their country in multiple war zones, his perspective is invaluable. Especially when it comes to the national discussion surrounding American Sniper.