Jason Hall, Screen Writer of American Sniper is a Mountain Man Making A Difference Even In His Hometown


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Calvary Chapel Christian school was a small town school with about 100 students from k-8th grade in Twin Peaks California.  We were a small mountain community at 6000 feet elevation... rising above San Bernardino.  The first time I recall the name Jason Hall was there.  Brothers Jason and Jeb, I remember their names mentioned often together.  We were in 5th grade in a small cabin style classroom with 5th and 6th grades combined, and to be honest, his face is fresh in my mind, even with some thirty years between.  As the internet has brought together the people from the past, the story that I remember is being pieced together with faces from the present, and like a puzzle, we collectively remember the events from our childhood.  

I recall a few instances where he, a tough guy...  gave me a hard time... (I recall the wrestling headlock on numerous occasions) but he always called me pal.  It was that tough guy spirit that lead him to a connection with Chris Kyle and made the screen play possible.  

I was a whiz kid, and tried to out perform everyone.  That made me a nerd, geek, or whatever you want to call it.  Jason was a cool kid... jock... wrestler... athlete.  The moment I said hello on Facebook, he called me pal, and it all came rushing back.


I went on from Christian school back to the public school system the following year, and eventually ran into Jason there too.  I can't recall classes together in High School.  The Christian school was so small, that those that came from there had that little connection that was always a reminder in passing in the halls.  

When news that he wrote the screen play to American Sniper flashed across Facebook, everyone who went to school with him who was on Facebook knew about it.  The buzz began, and that buzz lead to renewed communication.  Our Senior class began to coordinate our 25 year reunion.  We began searching for those not yet included in the group, and everyone is talking of Jason.  We're all very happy for him, proud to know him, proud of the achievement, and rallying behind him.  

We are in a new Era where such communication is possible... where Jason can go to the Oscars, and see everyone he ever knew rallying behind him and rooting him on live as it happens on his phone.  I suppose he won't spend the entire day looking at the cell phone because that would show up on camera, but it's amazing how much that has changed the way we do life.  We know who we are and where we came from and everyone who made up what we are... and see them right there.  

It wasn't long ago we lost one of our classmates - Chad Novak, you are missed!  That also was reason to revive communication.  In the wake of Chad's loss, Jason's success is a breath of fresh air, and with Social Networking like Facebook, the communication sparks many old friendships back to life.... which is far better than just reading about it in the paper or seeing it on TV.  

We all wonder who from our classes have gone on to become famous or to do great things.  Its exciting when a change comes quickly, and the world hears about it.  Suddenly our stories from the mountain mean something to those around the world.  It makes us proud to know that while we grew up building treehouses, sledding, skiing, playing sports, and being mountain kids, that many among us have gone on to do awesome things that impact our world for the better.  

Jason's contributions, though great already, are only just the beginning of a legacy to come.    Proud of you old friend.  Best of luck tonight.  Thanks for putting our little mountain on the map, and better yet, for pulling our mountain back together again.  Wherever we are, we're all rallying for you tonight!

 

Whether you live on an island, in the mountains, on a boat, or on Mars, it is these great tools of communication that are helping us to revive the past, to know the present, and to better prepare for the future. 

~D. Webster

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