As US forces surged into Iraq in 2003, Chris Kyle was handed a sniper rifle and told to watch as his marine battalion entered an Iraqi town.
A crowd had come out to greet them. Through the scope he saw a woman, with a child close by, approaching his troops. She had a grenade ready to detonate in her hand.
“This was the first time I was going to have to kill someone. I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to do it, man, woman or whatever,” he says.
“You’re running everything through your mind. This is a woman, first of all. Second of all, am I clear to do this, is this right, is it justified? And after I do this, am I going to be fried back home? Are the lawyers going to come after me saying, ‘You killed a woman, you’re going to prison’?”
But he didn’t have much time to debate these questions.
“She made the decision for me, it was either my fellow Americans die or I take her out.”
Read the rest of Stephanie Hegarty’s article at BBC.co.uk.