American Sniper sparked a firestorm of controversy from just about every perspective imaginable. Some have argued it’s a powerful anti war film. Others have labeled it as glorifying death and war. There is a significant problem with so many of these bold and often polarizing opinions. Many of them are debating about something they themselves have never experienced—WAR. Hear and interview with a retired Navy Seal about the movie American Sniper. He shares the challenges of reconciling his Christian faith with his duty as a Navy SEAL.
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Here starts the auto-generated transcription of Interview with A Christian Navy Seal  on “American Sniper”:


Here’s what actually happened. Howard and I were just, like, hey, we should talk about, American Sniper one day. And then we just actually started talking about it and it’s gonna become the intro to a podcast. Right. It it is.

You’re actually part of a very authentic moment right now. Yeah. Yeah. We’re just talking about it, like, just talking about it. Dude, that was the most awkward ending of a movie I have ever been at.

Right. Dead silence. That’s how it was for us too. Nobody talked. And then they showed the pictures.

Oh my gosh of the procession. It was a 200 mile procession. 200 miles, dude. Alright. So it may have been that every showing was sold out.

And so, Joe and I didn’t go until 9:45, and it was 12:30 at night. And maybe I was a bit emotional because of the time. I don’t know. But, dude, I was holding back just plain straight weeping Yeah. When that live foot like, the real footage of the processional.

I thought that was the most moving part. But they they said it was 200 miles of procession from from Arlington, Texas where his funeral was. They they filled that stadium, and then all the way to where they buried him. 200 miles people are alongside the road. You saw this fire truck Yeah.

With the with the ladders. Ladders with the flags. Amazing. Yeah. No.

I remember when that happened. I didn’t I didn’t draw the connection, though. I had no idea that I was going to watch a movie about that guy. Wait. Oh, okay.

So you remember about that guy, but you didn’t know it was that guy in the studio? No. I remember when a Navy SEAL died, I remember watching the procession and just thinking this is very moving Yeah. To see that many people, that kind of response And and and not only feeling the emotion even then. Right.

And not only that, like, Jeff, you remember what he was talking about what typically happens when a Navy SEAL kinda goes out and writes a book or whatever? Right. He gets blackballed, but did you see his casket? You know how they they, they take the Trident pin, that gold pin that has the Navy Seal Trident Right. That you get after, a butts.

After actually, after you’re totally a part of a nail Navy Seal Team 6 or Navy Seal Team, and they they hammer it into the casket. Right. In most funerals, you’ll see, like, 6, 7, 8 of those trends. His his casket was covered covered in seal pins. Wow.

Like, all these seals had come down and hammered those their pins into that casket. It was crazy. I think that’s I think that’s how it ended, wasn’t it? Like, the boom, the final hit. Right.

Right. Yeah. Yeah. And I just remember it being dead side. Yeah.

Like, so how do you come back from that, from being a sniper? And then, you know, what our show is about is reaching Muslims. And this guy, you know, of course, Chris Kyle has spent his career, killing insurgents, people that are trying to attack his, his groups that he’s protecting, like the marines and the army. Right. And, he he’s seen evil things he describes in his book.

I read his book and watched the movie. And so he he describes these things, and he describes these certain men as evil, like evil. Mhmm. And so, like, how do you come back from that? Doing what we do and him doing what he does.

It’s kind of like this real extreme, you know, separation between the way we think and the way he thinks, even though he considers himself a God fearing man. Right. Loves Jesus, reads the Bible, you know, that kind of thing. So it was really interesting. I I don’t know.

This book really hit me because at the same time, like, I love America. Once again, Muslim terrorists A terrorist slaughtered innocent people extremists. These are the total terrorists of the country. They’re random terrorists and brutal endeavors. Newsflash America.

These Muslim extremists are, are alive and well. They are not dead, and their video is not gratuitous, and it certainly is not irrelevant. It is a warning. Welcome to the truth about Muslims podcast. The official podcast of the Zwemer Center For Muslim Studies, where we help to educate you beyond the media.

Here are your hosts, Howard and Trevor. Alright. So we’ve got a we’ve got a great interview today. We are going to be calling a personal friend. Great friend.

Yeah. Family member, actually. Not mine but Trevor’s. Yeah. Yeah.

You kinda like family. He is my family. I love that guy. So, we’re gonna call a Navy SEAL, a retired Navy SEAL, SEAL team instructor. Can’t give a whole lot of detail about what SEAL team he was on and when he served or any specifics about combat missions.

But just to say that we’re gonna have a Navy SEALs perspective on, what is it like to be a Navy SEAL, specifically, his faith. He’s got an interesting story that we’re gonna kinda unfold today, which is what does it mean to be a Navy Seal and also love Jesus? Right. Are they mutually exclusive? Actually, a lot of people would ask that question.

Yeah. And I think American Sniper kind of awoken those questions for people. Right. Because he was, apparently a man of faith and also was tasked with a very difficult job. So we’d like to get this guy’s opinion.

So let’s give him a call. Alright. This week’s sponsors. CIU. CIU.

CIU educates people from a bib Biblical. Biblical world review. World view. Real world review. Kids say.

Yeah. CIU educates people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ. Oh, like the sound quality. It’s iPhone. I hope he answers.

Oh, maybe that’s voice mail. Hello? Jeff. Jeff. Hey.

What’s up, brother? Are you still powered? Nothing. I’m just excited about talking to you, man. You like to talk to old people too, That’s that’s right.

We don’t think you’re old and we’re getting up there too. I just turned 38. I thought it was pretty cool to talk to my grandma when she right before she passed away too. Just so I could figure out Wow. What we’re getting back in the day.

We’re we’re not looking at this as a last interview thing before you die kind of thing. Right. Last words of wisdom is, before you hit the grave. So It feels like it with this weather. What’s going on?

Well, you know, with the American Sniper, did you did you see the movie yet? Are you going to see the movie? I just I just saw the movie this last weekend. Oh, great. Good.

Because Yes. I did. Howard and I both saw it, this past weekend. And it just it really stirred a lot, I think, for both of us considering what we’ve been talking about, on the show for the last, gosh, it’s been like 16 weeks doing this. And, Howard, just share a little bit about some of the things that you you realize when you’re reading the book and then as you watch the movie and then we’ll we’ll get to kinda hearing Jeff’s view on it.

Right. So, you know, as I was reading the book, he he used language like, you know, savages and how evil they were. Right? And and I would have to agree, you know, that the the people that he was kinda dealing with, the insurgents, these guys that were just, you know, violent, you know, and some of the things that they were doing. But at the same time, I was thinking, like, how does he come home and, be a Christian and continue to love people, when his mindset has been, you know, like, so altered, you know, the way he looks at people.

And, and so I I don’t know. That’s kind of the question that kinda sticks in my head. How do you come back from that and and love people like Jesus tells us to love people? And when Howard asked me, I basically said, I have no clue, but I think I know a guy who would. And so that’s what we’re calling about.

So tell us a little bit yeah. Go for it. Back back when, during Vietnam and guys would get a flight back to the States, there was a lot of problems with that. A lot of guys had PTSD, nobody recognized it. And then in the earlier stages, you know, when I first was active duty, we’d go out and do missions in other countries and fly right back in the country and go home and be with the family and it was difficult.

But right now, as part of Special Forces, what guys do now after their deployments, usually a 9 month deployment, is they’ll take a month to decompress in a intermediate area, in between where the fights at and before they come home, they’ll have to spend 2 to 3 weeks decompressing from the war zone before they come back with a with, and they’re with family. And what they found out is because they can decompress and get stuff off their shoulders and think about things kinda kinda get everything back into perspective, they’ve got a lot less issues when they get home. So knowing that they didn’t have that, when you were active duty and working in special forces, what was the process like? First, just just going out there, I mean, did was it kind of a we’ve gotta get ourselves fired up? Did you have to have sort of, a story of who the enemy was?

I mean, what was that process like as a as a special forces off working in in the military? Well, a lot of times, you would know specifically well, when I was when I was first active duty, it wasn’t like it is today where you’re going out and you’re going out in a big convoy. I was with, you know, when it I was with SEAL Team 3 and with SEAL Team 6. And when we went in, basically, we had a specific mission. And if we got in a firefight, most of the time, things had gone really bad.

A success a successful mission meant we got in, did whatever we needed to do, and then got back without anybody knowing we were there. And that was the whole goal. The SEALs were a lot more secretive back then, and, I think things worked out a lot better than when there was less publicity about the missions and everything we do. So what was the feeling like knowing that you guys had engaged in something and nobody else knew about it? That’s gotta create some sort of, feelings for individuals that participating in such huge things and nobody knows.

Yeah. It it’s, you you wonder to yourself, well, will will people ever know? You know, it’s there’s there’s a lot of, humility in there. And, I’ve talked to, Trevor about this be before, but, we called the the shields on the West Coast, the Hollywood shields, the ones that just won the fame and fortune. And the ones that were on the East Coast, the the ones that 2 24, 6, and 10, they were actually the operational guys that would go to war every day and then come back.

But it was different back then because if you were looking at it to get the fame and fortune and to get recognition for what you were doing, it was looked at really bad and you were putting a certain category whereas if you were just wanted to be operational, be, you know, full of mud and out and fighting the good fight, then, you were looked at a lot different. Chris Kyle in his book, he kinda talks about, like, why he wrote the book. And I I kinda understood that, Seals got blackballed whenever they went, you know, sold a book or movies or whatever. But Chris Kyle was like, you know, somebody else is gonna tell this story and they’re not gonna honor the people, that I fought alongside with or saw that, you know, had lost their lives. And so I wanted to do that.

Do do seals just generally look at that as, like, he’s lying? He just wants to get famous? Or, you know, do they really take that in, into consideration? Well, personally, I I took that into consideration, and there have been some seal books, you know, that, these guys just come out with eye disease. You know?

I did this. I did that. I did that. Eye disease. I like that.

Eye disease. But, Chris really didn’t. Chris told a story, and, I I I kind of felt about it, the same way as, the guy who shot Bin Laden. He’s basically telling the story for a reason, not for himself, not for the fame and fortune, but just getting the story out there, so people know, basically what families go through and what, what seals go through. You know, Jeff, in in thinking about eye disease, I think Howard and I would both fully agree that we know a lot of different, you know, guys in our lives and you are like the least eye disease infected person I think I’ve ever met.

Yeah. Like, you have every reason to have eye disease and we have yet to find it. Right. I agree. I agree.

But but, you know, and and it’s it’s completely opposite of what you need to be like before you jump out of a plane at 35,000 feet in the middle of the night with oxygen on and a full rucksack. I mean, you’ve gotta think to yourself, okay. I’m bulletproof. Nothing’s gonna happen. You know?

You gotta be completely at the opposite side. And I realized a long time ago, gosh, you know, I I I don’t wanna be like that because I’d seen a lot of other people that were like that. And, I just recognized that it wasn’t wasn’t, what god wanted for me. Yeah. So I did notice that in the book.

Also, lone survivor, Marcus Marcus Littrell. Both of those books in the beginning, it’s just that you get this sense that they really had to be convinced that they’re bulletproof. And so you’re talking about how it’s, like, detrimental to your faith and what god has called you to do. So, like, what did you have to do to kinda, go down that journey to to to kinda change the way you thought about yourself? Well, at first, I wasn’t a very strong Christian when I was doing stuff.

So when, for example, I was parachuting, you know, you’re always going through in your mind, all the malfunctions that could happen, you know, as you’re pulling your parachute, as you’re under canopy, as you hit the ground, as you’re going in to do the mission, as you’re flying up in the plane, is something gonna happen to the plane? But I always, I wasn’t really a Christian. I was more of a deal maker with God. God, if you get me through this and I think I could say the Lord’s prayer in probably about 10 seconds. Nice.

You know? Our father who art, heaven, hell, be thy name, Tim. You know, I wanted to spend the rest of my time worrying about what was gonna happen. You know? So so most of my earlier time was spent making deals with with God.

Basically, Lord, if you get me out of this situation, I’ll do this. Lord, if you if you land me safely or if you, you know, don’t let that bullet hit me, I’ll, you know, basically, be a priest and devote my life to you for the rest of my life. Just get me out of this one thing. And then, after that one thing was gone, then, basically, I just forgot all about, you know, any deal that I made with the Lord and, until, until probably about 3 quarters of the way through my career. So what what was the moment, Jeff, that really changed everything?

Well, I was I was a SEAL instructor and, basically just, thinking thinking myself bulletproof, still making deals with God. And my, daughter, Trevor’s beautiful wife Katie, told me I ought to go to this, church Easter play. And so, I went to the church and sat in the back pew close to the back doors where I could get out in a hurry. And, basically, they were putting on a passion play. And when the soldiers came down to get Jesus out of the Garden of Gethsemane, they had live torches in their hand.

And when they walked by me in the aisle, I felt that heat hit the side of my face, and I felt as if the Lord was telling me, Jeff, that’s where you’re going because you don’t have a relationship with me. Wow. And that’s the moment everything in my life changed, because I realized I don’t want to go to Hell. I wanna I wanna have a relationship with Christ, and that’s when my life changed. And basically, that’s about the same time that I got out of the Navy, on a Friday, and on Monday, joined the Air Force and, started my 2 year pararescue career.

So was your coming to faith did that have anything to do with shifting from maybe more of an offensive Combative. Combative role to now you’re rescuing people? Is that at all related to your your faith journey? I think it did, but I think it was all part of God’s plan too. I when I when I look back on it, of course, it does because, you know, I was jumping out of the planes and and diving and, you know, shooting and looting and going, you know, going after bad guys, as a seal.

And then, once I got saved and crossed over in the airports, now I was going in, rescuing guys and rescuing down pilots and, you know, going ships that went down and planes that went down, and, the motto was, that others may live with a little angel. You know. So, it it was all God’s perfect timing. And was that a relief, like switching? Like like, thank goodness that I don’t have to take anyone’s life, or was it more like, oh, this is just, you know, part of my job in the military?

Well, it what switched was I wasn’t making deals with God anymore. Now I realized when I was for example, when I accidentally you know, after after I was a Christian and in the Air Force as a p j, I was, out in a Humvee out in the desert, and I drove over some land mines, and they didn’t go off. And I realized God is just taking care of, you know, just taking care of me. I realized, you know, it wasn’t where I had to make a deal with him anymore. I was, you know, I’m one of his children.

He’s taking care of me. He’s washing over me. Can can we ask about that story, driving over land mines? Like, what what exactly? Yeah.

Yeah. How did How did that happen? Blow by blow. What had happened What had happened, it was, in the earlier days of Iraq, and myself and my commander moved were moving real full, far forward in the desert. Basically, it was when the inspectors were in there looking for, bombs and stuff like that.

We were there to basically get those guys out if they needed to get out in a hurry. And we went to this camp that was way way out in the middle of nowhere, and I dropped off my commander at a tent with all these other commanders for a briefing. And then I went to go park the Humvee and got lost like I always do. Even in Walmart, I got no sense of direction. And, I I came up over the top of this ridge and these two guys are staring at me with their mouths wide open.

And I thought, oh, boy. I’m in trouble. I’m not supposed to be here. So I pulled over, and I parked the the the Humvee, and I went and I found where we were breathing, and I crashed out for the night. But the next morning, I woke up.

And, I came outside my tent. There’s a big commotion. And, a bunch of guys were pointing right next to my tent. There was some Humvee tracks. The ones that I’d made the night before and all around the Humvee tracks were landmine signs.

But I didn’t see them because they’re at night. But I’d driven right through that, and everybody was amazed that a vehicle had driven through there. And at that time, I just pictured an angel on each tire just saying, how many times we’re gonna have to do this for this guy. Are we gonna save his life? Constantly saving his life.

He’s making deals. Watch out for this guy’s 24 hour thing. Now now I know you can’t share any details about combat missions as a SEAL. Are you able to give any details about where you’ve done some work, maybe contract work, in Iraq? Anything that you’ve experienced not being a Navy SEAL that’s kind of changed your views on how war happens?

Well, yeah. One of the one of the big things that happened is when I was civil once I was civil service, I was in Fallujah, and I was putting in smart cameras around the base. And, this was something like I’d never done before. I was with, conventional forces. I wasn’t with special forces anymore.

I was putting them in for regular Army, regular Marine, guys out in Camp Fallujah. And, we started getting, bombed and mortared. And, I I I just couldn’t it was it it started, you know, like day 2 that we were there and then just started picking it up. But it was, especially on Sunday morning. It would be like about a dozen different mortars going off all around the camp, but they were indiscriminate.

And, it would land, you know, whether it landed at the little store that they had, whether it landed on the medical facility, whether it landed on the chapel one time. I mean, you never knew where these bombs were gonna hit. And I’ve never been in a situation before, where where it was just indiscriminate who got killed. And so these what the what the, I believe it was the Sunnis were doing, would they were driving past and they would jump out of their vehicle, you know, about a mile away, and they’d launch a rocket towards the base, get back in their vehicle, and keep driving. And so these, you know, we had construction battalion guys on the base that as soon as these rockets went off, they would go over, you know, clean up the bodies, clean up the blood, and everything like that just to try to keep morale up in this camp.

Oh my god. Point where this was a it was a daily daily thing. And, you know, whether you’re go you know, if there’s constant you know, if after, you know, the first one to go off, everybody tried to hit the bunkers. But, you never knew where that that that, you know, how close it was gonna go off that first one. Yeah.

There was a minute in the in the movie when I was watching and and the American Sniper’s communicating with his wife and trying to say everything’s fine. And I had I had just flashed back because I remember when you were in Fallujah and you would call home. And I was actually Katie and I were staying at the house at that time. We had just come off the mission field. And yeah.

And just remembering thinking you were basically, everything’s fine. Yeah. Everything’s great. And then I would get on the phone when you’re like, man, pray for me. So the show wouldn’t be possible without sponsors.

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Yeah. And just remembering thinking you were basically, everything’s fine. Yeah. Everything’s great. And then I would get on the phone when you’re like, man, pray for me.

It is not fine. Not praying for me. It is not fine. Still thinking about it. Yeah.

I mean, to to Katie and Ellen, that was very yeah. I had my little satellite phone, and every time a motor would hit, it would give me enough time to just hit the off button, you know, when I was talking to, you know, talking talking to anybody else. But I knew I needed prayer, and I was telling everybody else everything was fine. But, once you got on the line, I tried to just, like, steal my guts and you pray as soon as I can, pretty now. That’s crazy.

So you mentioned that this was a very different experience. It’s what for our It was. It was. It it actually, didn’t make sense to me. So when I got back from that trip, my wife, Ellie, said, you know, that I had changed.

I was really cold. I was different. Wow. And she thought I was fooling around on the side because I was just different. I didn’t realize anything was different, but, I I I remember thinking to myself how indiscriminate everything was and how it just, you know, any second just could be boom and you really don’t even hear the boom, you’re just gone.

But, she said that, I became distant and, that that, you know, I I mean, I’m now still working out and I was still running and stuff like that, trying to deal with stress working out. But, it wasn’t until, a few years after that when I was finally diagnosed with PTSD. And it just made so much sense to me that, this is why I get anxious. This is why I feel like, oh my gosh, I’m gonna have a panic attack or I’m gonna have a heart attack. And now that I’ve learned what it is and what it’s from, and, I’m obviously on meds for it, but, it’s it’s just, whenever I I I get anxious or have a feeling like, you know, something’s gonna happen, someone’s coming around the corner, or this is about to happen.

I just, you know, think about the Lord, say Jesus to myself, and I just got a calm about me now that I realized what it is. And it’s just your mind can just go so many places and, you know, you don’t even know it’s doing it. So you so you developed you developed PTSD not in active duty but later. Exactly. Because on active duty, like I said, you know, if we had to get in a firefight, the mission was basically, you know, a failure.

Right. So you just didn’t you just didn’t find yourself in those positions and Exactly. Wow. That’s crazy. But I did I did find myself in the position where, you know, I’m always, you know, they trained you to scan for threats, you know.

So when you walk into a room, I I still find myself looking to see what everybody has in their hands because that’s the the way you’re trained when you’re going into rooms to to get people or to, you know, get hostages out. You’re always looking just like a cop does for a weapon in the hand. Mhmm. The first thing you’re looking for. So so when we’re driving, my wife says, now I know you know, after watching that movie, she goes, now I know why you’re, you know, still looking 2 miles down the road when you’re driving down there and you’re worried about that truck that’s way up there.

You know, it’s it’s just trying to perceive those danger areas still in the back of your mind. Mhmm. You need to be able to teach Howard some of that. Sometimes I think he’s unaware of the situations around him. I’m always unaware.

That’s why I’m so happy. I’m happy all the time. So, Jeff Jeff, nowadays, you’re working with the Marine Corps in Special Forces. What’s the story that kinda is in the military regarding Muslims? How does all this connect your faith in in Muslims?

Because I know, you know, with Katie and I and our and our love for Muslims, and we’ve talked a ton about what does it mean to be a follower of Christ in the mission of God. But how does all this work for you being, you know, Navy Seal, Special Forces, and now training Special Forces when there’s definitely a story in the military regarding the Muslim world? Well, you know, the the Muslims are just such a small threat to I I work for MARSOC now, the Marine Special Operations Command, and it’s just that’s just a small area that they’re thinking. I mean, they’re thinking China. They’re thinking North Korea.

They’re thinking Philippines. Their missions are all over the world. And what I’ve noticed about the Christians that I’m working with is those are the strongest operators. They have the inner strength and inner fortitude where they’re gonna do the very best that they can possibly do because they’re doing it for Christ. Whereas other guys are the guys that, well, I’m just gonna do this for a few years and then find something else.

They don’t really have the devotion to, do their best as you would for Christ. So, I can recognize a lot of the warriors that we have here at just because of, the way they act because they are Christians. From a soldier’s perspective, like, you know, I do I do hear, like, how you’re talking about their work ethic, their passion to do their very best for, Christ. Do do you feel like from a soldier’s perspective, they have a problem, with the kind of work that they do? Because, you know, a lot of it is, is war, and war is taking lives and and conquering, you know, you know, battles and and and and things like that.

Did they have a hard time, you know, putting that together with Christ? You know, it that’s that’s where the decompression comes in. There are there are some that have there’s there’s a lot of explosive ordinance guys that I work with that, have whether it be shell shock, you know, from an explosion. And they don’t like to say they have it because they’re not supposed to have it if they’re a EOD guy. But, you know Yeah.

That makes sense. A lot of a lot of those guys, they they do exhibit, pretty severe symptoms if they aren’t Christians. Now the ones that are Christians, complete opposite, you know, still devoted to duty. They’re able to put things in place in their mind and to put that, that action that they’ve gotta do into place and into perspective with, you know, why God has put them on this earth. You know, God wants them to do the best job that they can.

Even the soldiers. Doing that. Yeah. Exactly. Just just like being a cop.

Just like being a firefighter. God wants you to run into that fire and save people. He wants you to go get the bad guys. Go get the booger eaters. You know.

So, you’re gonna do the best you can, you know, with the training that you got. Right. And and so with, with, you know, of course, you’ve been on the ground over there, in the Middle East too. What what what happens? Like, I I I see soldiers, making friends with, interpreters.

Like, I hear a lot of the interpreter stories that are coming kinda coming back. And then on the same side, you know, they have, insurgents. You know, like, so how are soldiers, separating, the 2? Do they just use terms like you said, like bad guys and then there’s the good guys, but they’re still kind of the same religion, same, you know, people? Yeah.

I think it especially for for, like, when I was overseas, you’re in and you’re, you know, going down the street. Not everybody’s bad guys. You’ve got a mission to get one guy. So, what you think about the people around you are the same you think about, you know, when you’re in the States about people, you know, that are around you. You you you you feel compassion for the children and, and the women, you know, and and the men you you think of skeptically, like they said in the movie, you know, military age type men.

Right. You you you kind of, you you you try not to, but you are stereotyping because it could be a threat. Right. And, and for these guys to experience like he did, like Kyle did in the movie, a threat from a child or from a woman, that’s gotta be very, very difficult because that’s not that’s not very common and that’s not not what you train for. Yeah.

I think that was one of the most intense scenes when the the little boy picks up the the rocket launcher. Right. And He’s like, don’t pick it up. Don’t pick it up. Because I think from what you’re saying, Jeff, and I hadn’t really thought about this, but in some ways, soldiers get to see a more well rounded view of the Muslim world because they do interact with Muslims that aren’t the bad guys than maybe even some Americans who only get media.

Right. Exactly. Exactly. They do. And and what we would always try to do is interact with, with the local populace because you’re you’re trying to fit in and the the big military, you know, win the minds and hearts, you know, that’s, that’s something that, I think the while the military has put it out in policy is what they want to do.

But I think that’s all been a part of all, for example, training the other forces. We go on a lot of exercises, special operations guys do and work with other special operations in other countries. And to go to these guys’ house and to share meals, I mean, it’s just so special. You you you never you know, you’re never gonna experience this type of, hospitality or this type of treatment ever again. And it’s different in every country you go to.

And so you try to experience as much as you can. And if you’re not doing that, you’re just, sitting back at the camp or or sitting back in the tent and, you know, it’s you’re not getting as much as you could out of, out of the deployment or or or or what you should be doing out there. Yeah. I I just I just see, like, how much of a struggle this must be for the soldiers because on one hand, they do they do, experience the hospitality, like the friendships and, like, just, you know, the the beauty of of the people and and what they do. But at the same time, everyone’s a potential, dangerous person.

Right? A potential, enemy. And it must just it just must drive them crazy, to be able to open up their hearts completely, you know, and, and and just enjoy the experience. Obviously, it’s not sightseeing. They had they’re there for a job.

But at the same time, the government’s like, hey. You know, we wanna win their hearts and minds too. And I can see how the soldiers would struggle with that. Yeah. Yeah.

Exact and and, back when I was active duty too, I I spent a lot of time, over in Asia and with the families and the people over there and but we come we’d, you know, we’d be right back in the United States the next day, you know, after whether I was in, Malaysia or, you know, after drug runners or something like that. I’d be back in the States, and then interacting with regular people, somebody do something to tick me off and I just think to myself, you know, if this was the day before yesterday, you know, if I would’ve done, you know, it it’s it’s a lot different. Different. So so that decompressing really that that really is key for these guys coming back now. I just want listeners to know what it was like to date, you know, Katie as a 15 year old knowing that, Jeff was a Navy SEAL.

Pretty intense. Tense I’m feeling him right now. Jeff, tell us a little bit about the, the ministry that you’ve been involved with here lately and some of the the things that you got to participate in for soldiers that do return home. Yeah. I, our church, said that, hey, This guy has put together a program to help, people with PTSD.

And so, I got in contact, with this organization and, gosh, I wish I could give you the website. It’s the website is still coming up to speed, but, it’s it’s they’ve got different, soldiers from different fights, different, you know, airmen. They’ve got marines. They’ve got, SF soldiers. And we’re all talking about how the Lord has moved in our life, in regards to PTSD and how he has turned all that pain that we have experienced into something that we can deal with now and something that we could understand.

So so, they got a a institute. It’s called the PTGI Institute. Like I said, the website isn’t up and running yet, but we’ve got bibles out. They’ve they’ve probably made, they said, I think, 8,000 of these latest print Bibles with the different testimonies from the guys inside of them. They’re moving into the prison ministry with a lot of these bibles, but they’ve also got permissions from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to give them to, all everybody in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

So all the chaplains in the military are receiving these. And it’s it’s just something that, guys can turn to because it still is a stigma in the military to say that you have PTSD. But what I’ve recognized is there’s so many other types of PTSD, not only from combat, but from traumatic experiences. And the there’s so many, experiences that you can have as a child that can give you PTSD in a certain form or fashion, whether you relate to what had happened to you by a smell or a sound or or something you see. But relating to that kind of puts you in a nervous state, it’s all a form of PTSD.

But this, this program basically, lets you talk about it with other Christians and lets you know that, hey, God recognizes it. And, he realizes everybody does have issues. And, if you work with God that, you can resolve these issues, and you can feel better about yourself, and you can deal with your PTSD. That’s cool. Jeff, I have a question.

If, for our listeners on the show, let’s say, you know, we had some soldiers on active duty. They came back and they are Christians, but they’re having a hard time, loving Muslims because of what they experienced, during, active duty. What kind of advice would you be would you give to those guys? Get into the word. Get in the word and and and see how god wants you to treat everybody else around you.

I mean, just if you if you actually start reading the Bible and getting into the word and finding out how God wants you to be one of his soldiers, not your own, then I think there’s there’s a lot of healing that could that can take place right right away getting yourself in the word. Are there any, like, support groups that you know of that, they could be a part of? I you know, I I know that this would probably be a pretty niche thing. But Well, there’s there’s, Biblica, and that’s,, is the organization that helped put together this PTSD bible. Like I said, the joint chiefs of staff have approved it for distribution, so there should be Bibles with most chaplains office Wow.

Offices. And if they’re not with the chaplain’s office where they’re at, then they they, should be able to request them. But, biblical,, does have a lot of resources for soldiers with PTSD. Yeah. I’ve I’ve checked out that that bible and and your stories in there and then even some of the other stories.

It’s a very I think it’s a powerful tool. It just kinda shares how some of the struggles that people have had coming back and with their families. And and I just gotta say, I’m I’m I’m super proud and impressed because I think the way that things could have gone for you and I know you would obviously point it all back to Jesus, but I’ve never sensed anything but love, brother. And I appreciate you. Awesome.

Awesome. And I and, you know, right back towards you guys, I’ve I’ve listened to your podcast, and I am just so impressed. And, I didn’t wanna mess it up with with the guy that didn’t know a whole lot. You said booger eaters. Less than I said.

Booger eaters. It’s impressive what you guys are doing, and I absolutely love it. Yeah. Very impressive. We we appreciate you bringing, a perspective that’s much needed, which is basically that, you know, we’ve gotta hear what it’s like for the soldiers that interact with Muslims and how difficult it must be for them to also reach out with the love of Christ.

And I think you’ve modeled it well, Jeff. I think so too. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah.

Thanks so much, man. Thanks for spending time with us today. Alright. God bless you guys, man. Love you.

Love you too. Bye. Bye. Good to see you. Alright.

So this show wouldn’t be possible without sponsors. And at this point in the show is where if you wanna partner with us, we would put your ad. So if you wanna be a part of the show, you wanna partner with us, you like what we’re doing, you wanna be on our team, what have you, bringing this show to the world, then email us and let us know. Alright. So that was that was great.

Yeah. That was I I don’t know. I I just never get to spend a lot of time talking to Jeff about, like, the past and stuff. So this is really kinda cool, this venue, to do this. I’m telling you, since I’ve known him, since I was 15 years old, I’ve tried to get, like, a real live seal story.

Right. Noodling it. Yeah. Like, noodling it to the Yeah. Just like, yeah.

Come on. Give me and nothing. Right. Nothing. And that’s why I say no eye disease.

Oh, yeah. Because he just has such a humility about him and Yeah. He better talk about other things. You know? Yeah.

He does, man. He’s like that. Yeah. He just has a real sense of humility. So, like, you, me been impressed by.

And a couple of guys. Right? We come around, hang out, and we do this, like, hero worship thing with him. Right? Like, man, Jeff, you’re the man.

You’re the seal. You know, like, could you beat up these guys? You remember when we’re younger, we were like that? Trevor and I’ve known each other for that way. I still wanna hear story.

You and Trevor have known each other for about, like, 18 years, is it? Like, 17, 18 yeah. Like, we we’ve been best friends for a long time. And so, therefore, I’ve known Jeff for a really long time. And every time we get together, we do this here worship, and he does not fall for it.

No. He might tell, like, a little joke or a little quip, but, like, it’s never been, like, this full on, like, yes, worship me. Like, he it’s just never been that way. So I I don’t know. You get around other guys, like, I’m guilty of this myself, but, like, you you start, like, telling hardcore stories, which Yeah.

They’re not that hardcore. Yeah. Scarce stories. You get around Jeff and you’re just like, oh, yeah. Here comes a good one.

And then nothing. Right. Nothing. Right. And and and he’s just not interested.

And it’s not that he’s aloof. He just he just he’s very, very, you know, humble, gracious. He laughs it off and then he’ll change the subject and Yeah. That’s it. I I’ve always been keen fully aware that I could have my windpipe removed at any given moment.

That’s right. One false move to catch Katie. But, yeah, he’s just been yeah. Great great guy. Yeah.

So, so if you really, are interested in kind of the the the topic that we brought up today, and wanna read American Sniper or Lone Survivor, there’s a lot of things that, we’ve been talking about just over the the episodes, that apply, to, you know, what you’ll you’ll find in that in those books. Just to kinda warn you to our more sensitive listeners, there is a lot of cussing and, violence, in there. So be know to, be mindful of that. I thought you were talking about our podcast. I was like, what?

No. No. No. No. About those books.

If you’re listening to this recording when I wasn’t around or or reading those books. But I I I always find it really interesting to to delve into anything Muslim, to be honest with you now. Yeah. Because I’m like, oh, you know, this is this is kind of interesting because this is what I’ve been learning or we’ve been talking about on the show. Mhmm.

And, and and seeing those things come alive in people’s lives and their stories, like, you know, American Sniper or Lone Survivor or whatnot. Yeah. That’s pretty neat. You know, there’s a lot of media, controversy surrounding the movie right now. And one of the things that I am I am uber sensitive about is if I feel like they’re that Muslims are being overgeneralized.

In any sense, you know, I’ve been accused of like, you know, he’s always defending the Muslims. And it’s true. A lot of times I am because I feel like they are being marginalized or overgeneralized and I don’t like it. And but you know what? Actually, when I watch the movie, I’m not really sure where some of this media stuff is coming from where people are saying that it really made Muslims out to be bad because when when there was the whole sniper thing going on, I remember, leaning over to Joe in the movie as as he was talking to his wife, and and I said, you know, I really wish they would just show that this other sniper has a wife too just to kind of humanize that both people in war are people.

And they did. They did that. And I thought they actually did a really good job of not making it a Muslim thing but making it just about war. Right. Good guys, bad guys and of course, you know, depending on which side you’re on will depend on who the good guy and the bad guy is.

And yeah, so I didn’t get I didn’t get some of the things that the media hype was coming out with about it being anti Muslim. Right. And I did like what Jeff had said about, you know, there there’s good guys and there’s bad guys, and not everybody’s a bad guy. And when you’re walking down the street and you’re interacting with, you know, children and and, other men, you know, there there is potential obviously in a war zone, but, there’s a there’s separation. And it’s not just like, hey, let’s get those Muslims.

It didn’t feel like that at all. And you know what? One of this most surprising facts that I’ve heard about, warfare in the Middle East. I think this was in the first Gulf War. They said more people had come to faith in Saudi Arabia, than ever before in history because of the, American GIs.

Well, actually, the foreign GIs that were were over there. Wow. Baptizing people in the in the deserts and sharing the gospel with their friends, that they had made. So, you know, we’ll have to fact check that, but I read that before and I was just like, wow. It is really interesting when, you know, war happens.

There’s a lot more that happens than just killing. Sure. That’s right. There’s a story of humanity that kind of happens, crises and overcoming and Yeah. So, in redemption even, and so it is really interesting to think that that part of it.

Well, we know that God uses it. As we’ve said in the past, he uses the wrath of man to praise him, but we also see in church history that it was the Roman soldiers, with the spreading of the gospel with the Roman empire in the Right. First centuries of the church that was Right. Turned the diaspora. Yeah.

Yeah. So, good stuff. Well, that’s it for this week. We hope you continue to listen. And, I you know, the more we’re finding out about the way podcasts work, and we are new at this, we found out that reviews on iTunes really make a big difference as far as people listening.

We’re up to 14, I think. Right. And, most of those people I don’t know. I I think there’s, like, a couple people I know, on there, and I appreciate those people, but it’s really exciting when I get people that I don’t know that are writing reviews, and that they’re positive because I’m kinda surprised sometimes. But, please, if you haven’t and you’re listening to this, please write us a review because that that really helps a lot, and we really Muslims so much, but maybe they’re you know, somebody that’s maybe they’re not interested in about, Muslims so much, but maybe they could benefit from just hearing Jeff’s story about PTSD and serving in the military.

You can just pass on one episode. Maybe the rest of the episodes aren’t they’re not ready for those yet, but maybe they just came back. Maybe they’re because I know that we’re on a break between, Nabil Jabbour, we because I know that we’re on a break between, Nabil Jabbour, which will start again next week. But if you did like this, you know, then send us send us in your comments. Comments at truth about muslims dot com.

And, we’ll we’ll try to do more because we apparently have a lot of people that we know that are interesting. We could just ask them to come and be on the show. Right on. Yep. So, anyway, thank you for listening.