I would like to add some clarity to the “American Sniper” controversy, and this is aimed at the squishy, Nader-voting, Whole Foods-obsessed, kale-scarfing, bulky-scarf-around-the-neck-when-it’s-not-even-cold crowd who are horrified that a sniper would kill someone from a concealed perch.

Study after study has shown — and I saw it myself in Vietnam —  that American combat troops stand fast and fight, not out of any patriotic fervor. No, they hunker down and return fire because anything less would let their buddies down. So when troops moved cautiously through the urban battlegrounds of Iraq, they knew that a highly trained marksman in an “overwatch” site was protecting them.

In the movie, Bradley Cooper, playing the legendary Chris Kyle, was the ultimate “buddy.”

None of this should be taken as a defense of the war that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and the pliant George W. Bush perpetrated on the American people, tragically ignoring the lessons of our intervention in Vietnam. But to call Kyle a “murderer” is a disservice to the young men and women who risked their lives (4,000-plus KIAs) following the misguided orders of their commander-in-chief.

Dave Griffiths, Mechanic Falls

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