Contest: Win ‘American Sniper’ on Blu-ray!

Welcome back! We may have taken Monday off for the holiday, but we’d still like to start this official work week off on a Memorial Day theme. We have an extra copy of Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper‘ to give away to one of our readers. Enter for your chance to win.

Normally, we use our contests as an excuse to crack jokes and make fun of the movies we’re giving away. This time, in the spirit of what the Memorial Day holiday is supposed to be about, we’d like to try something a little different and hopefully a little more respectful.

Please tell us about someone in your life who is an armed forces veteran and what that person has meant to you. It can be a family member, a friend, someone you’ve worked with, or someone you happen to know for other reasons. If you are (or have been) a member of the armed services yourself, you can’t write about yourself (have a little bit of humility!), but you can write about someone you’ve served with. This should go without saying, but true stories about real people only, please.

During World War II, my grandfather joined the U.S. Army and served in the North African campaign. He was a powerful influence on my life growing up, but he didn’t like to talk about his wartime experiences. In fact, all through my childhood, I can’t recall him ever telling a war story, not even when he and his veteran friends would sit around the campfire. When I was very young, I was too oblivious to think of asking him about the war. As I got a little older, I just assumed that he must have seen things he didn’t want to relive, so I didn’t bring it up. Unfortunately, he passed away about 15 years ago and I never got a chance to have a good talk with him about the subject. That’s something I very much regret.

We have one copy of the Blu-ray to give away. The winner will be chosen at our own subjective discretion based on whichever responses we like the most. One entry per person this time, so make it a good one. All entries must be submitted in the Comments section of this blog post. Please do not attempt to email them to me.

This contest is only open to entrants from the domestic United States. We will not ship internationally (whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not). Employees of High-Def Digest or Internet Brands and their families are not eligible. Standard contest rules and conditions apply. People who have won any of our previous contests within the past one year are also not eligible to win, but may get Honorable Mentions.

The deadline for entry is Thursday, May 28th. The winners will be announced the following week. Good luck!

9 comments

  1. NJScorpio

    And I was all set to make some sort of joke caption along the lines of, “Where’s Sydney when I really need her!?”

  2. This is kind of a funny story. In 1999 I got a second job at a body shop as a detailer. The guy who hired me was Dennis, he was the manager. Dennis was a Vietnam vet and he took a liking to me and was always good to me. He seemed pretty mild mannered and always had a pleasant demeanor, although later I found out he had a pretty bad drinking problem. We were talking about Dennis once and I was told that he had seen combat and that got me real fascinated and curious. I’ve met people who served but no one who’d actually seen some shit. My father in law was in the reserves around Vietnam and says he was an MP but never saw combat. I would ask Dennis questions about his time in the military, but was always afraid to ask if he had killed anyone. I asked him what the grossest thing he saw over there was and he told me that the natives would grind up fish into a jelly like substance and drink it. So after about six months of waiting to ask for fear of bringing up bad memories ( but my curiosity was too strong) the day came when I built up the nerve to ask Dennis if he had killed anyone. I tried my best to word it as delicately as possible. It was just him and I at the time, and I said something like, “Hey when you were in the war… did you have to take life?” Something like that. The way I pictured it in my mind, he was going to pause and maybe sigh, look up to the sky and possibly get teary eyed or maybe a lip quiver. Maybe with a quiet and shameful yes like in the movies when soldiers talk about taking life. Instead he responded with, “Fuck yeah I killed them slanty eyed gooks!” True story.

  3. I had a friend that served in the National Guard and he went overseas years ago. He was in vehicle operations I believe. From what I know they mainly do their jobs on the base so that made me feel like he’d be pretty safe while he was over there. When he left, he gave me an email I could use to keep in touch. He told me he wouldn’t be able to respond very quickly though. I had emailed him a few times and the response time was around a week or so, if I remember correctly. Well one time I didn’t get a response for quite awhile and I really didn’t know what to think. I was obviously worried something might have happened to him but, of course, I had no way of finding out so I just had to wait. He did finally respond like 2-3 weeks later but I think I got a very small taste of what family and friends of soldiers overseas go through. I cannot imagine how hard it is for them. I was very proud of what he was doing serving his country.

    Thank you to each and every soldier that has served out country and protected our freedom!

    Don’t just honor the soldiers on Memorial Day! Thank them any time you see them. #SeeASolderThankASoldier!

  4. AGC8

    I’ve never served in any military. But I can respect any soldier willing to sacrifice their life for their country. Fighting for a country that has chosen to go to war for the right reason. But in all honesty war is never a solution. There’s always a better way.

  5. Jacob

    My father was in the Navy, when I was adopted into his family, one of the first thing he showed me was the scars that he got when his shipped wrecked. One of the things I noticed was half of his middle finger was gone. So when I was younger I kept flipping him off thinking it was okay. To this day as a joke he flips me off whenever we pass by each other.

  6. Jason

    My grandfather served in the Navy during WWII. He never said anything about his time during the war, like many Veterans of that time, he held whatever experiences he had to himself. The only thing I know of his experience came from pictures and various items he brought home from the Pacific. We discovered them going through the house after both of my grandparents passed. He passed away when i was 13 years old so I was too young and ignorant to really understand the military funeral proceedings. Now, as an adult and a veteran myself. I really wish I could talk with him again.

    A few months ago, my other grandfather passed away. He too was a WWII vet who served in the Aleutian Islands. Like my other grandpa, he said almost nothing about his experiences for most of my life… Until a few years ago. My brother and I served a tour in Iraq in 2011 and when we got home, he opened up to us about his experiences. We were grateful to record and document that time in his life. When he passed, we were able to conduct the military funeral honors for him. It was an honor to remember him and participate in that event.

    I am blessed to have had both grandparents survive their service in WWII. I am grateful for everyone who has paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. That is something that I will never forget.

  7. Timcharger

    My family’s older men, my older uncles, my grandparents all experienced war.
    I should say that they didn’t fight for America. But they didn’t fight Americans,
    either.

    For them, war wasn’t something they volunteered for or got drafted into. War
    came to their village. They didn’t really talk much about it. Or if they did, they
    didn’t talk much about it to me, a tiny kid. Thank goodness they didn’t give me,
    their tiny nephew/grandson nightmares for years.

    Their village was a remote, near-mountainside location. They were invaded.
    So it wasn’t the 1st tier commanders that presided for them. 3rd, 4th tier
    commanders with less supervision and with absolute power were brutal.
    Slave labor. Growing food for occupying foreign soldiers.

    I just realized that I only thought about the men. My older aunts and
    grandmothers were occupied people, too. Thank goodness I don’t know what
    they went through. I don’t want to imagine.

    Sh*t, thinking about this movie American Sniper (I haven’t seen it). I have to
    think that Japanese snipers probably observed my grandfathers in their sights.
    And my older uncles were like the kids in the American Sniper trailer that the
    sniper had to watch over to see what harm they might do to his fellow
    Japanese soldiers.

    —–

    On a lighter note, I didn’t know as a kid, my relatives’ views on the War. My
    parents immigrated over to the U.S., and I grew up here. I would visit my
    family back home almost every summer. Anyway, growing up in the U.S.,
    I developed a crush on a Japanese girl in my 6th (I think) grade class. When
    I visited my uncles that year, they eagerly asked about my life in America.
    I had no understanding about how disappointed and devastated they
    would be when I excitedly shared about my crush for a Japanese girl.

    As most crushes go, another school year goes by with new crushes and
    new interests. So that next summer, I made an effort to report back to
    my uncles that I was no longer interested in that Japanese girl (the new
    crush was a blonde, a redhead, or my math teacher who can keep track?).

    To my surprise, they didn’t have the opposite reaction. They weren’t
    elated with joy. They politely listened and just messed up my hair as most
    uncles usually do.

    Thinking back now that I’m older, I like to think my uncles were moving on.
    War ends. The children of war aren’t guilty for their fathers’ actions. I know
    that many of my family never forgave. But I think they didn’t want that hate
    to be passed on to their children. So I should amend that from: war ends,
    to: wars should end.

    Plus, they probably agreed that my new crush was much more cuter.

  8. Josh Zyber
    Author

    Because this contest had so few entries (which disappoints me greatly), I’m just going to announce here that Jason has been selected to win the prize. It didn’t seem worth creating a new post to make that announcement.

    Congratulations to Jason, and thanks to the few others of you who entered the contest with him.

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