One was a Navy SEAL, and the other an Army Green Beret. Though books about the lives of these two former Special Forces operators are making the rounds these days, the stories they contain couldn’t be more different.
Chris Kyle has been labeled the deadliest American sniper ever, called “the devil” by the enemies he hunted and “the legend” by his Navy SEAL brothers, according to the Amazon.com page for the best-selling book about his life, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, co-authored by Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice.
From 1999 to 2009, Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history, the writeup continues. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of his kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.
Kelly A. Stewart, on the other hand, is the subject of the book, Three Days In August. Just under 300 pages in length, it’s story is mostly unrelated to Stewart’s duties as a Green Beret medic and elite Level One sniper during several tours in Iraq. And it’s mostly unrelated to his duties that followed as a sniper instructor at a NATO school in Germany. Instead, the book chronicles Stewart’s life before, during and after his court-martial during three days in August 2009.
The book tells the story of a highly-decorated combat veteran who, after being accused of rape and kidnapping by a German woman, faced court-martial proceedings that could have resulted in him spending the rest of his life behind bars but ended instead with him being found guilty of several sex-related offenses and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Rather than being portrayed as a “war hero” like Kyle, Stewart stands branded a “sex offender” and must carry that label the rest of his life if, that is, justice continues to elude him.
Full of never-before-published details taken from the actual Record of Trial, Three Days in August paints a portrait of military justice gone awry. After reading it, you’ll understand why, at a minimum, Stewart deserves a new trial and, at best, deserves to have his court-martial conviction overturned.