Friday, October 11, 2013

Remembering Chris Kyle April 8, 1974 - February 2, 2013

Chris Kyle will go down in American history as one of the country's most lethal weapons.

Chris was born in Odessa, Texas and was the son of a devout Christian family.  His dad bought Chris his first gun at the age of 8 and taught Chris to hunt pheasant, quail and deer.  Chris would soon find himself in the rodeo as a bronco rider until he severely injured his arm.

Chris decided to join the armed forces.  He initially wanted to become a Marine.  In talking to a Navy recruiter, Chris was told about the Navy SEALS program.  Initially he was refused because of the arm injury he had received in the rodeo but was soon contacted about an opportunity to attend Basic Underwater Demolition school.  He joined the US Navy in 1999.

Chris is recognized as the most skilled sniper in military history.  He had 160 confirmed kills out of 255 claimed kills and served four tours in the Iraq conflict and awarded the 4th highest commendation for heroism, acts of merit and military service in a combat zone.  Nicknamed the "Devil of Ramadi" by Iraqi insurgents, he was the recipient of the Bronze Star and numerous Silver Star medals.  During his military career, Kyle was shot twice and involved in six IED attacks.  His longest successful shot was from 2100 yards away having killed an insurgent with a rocket launcher. Because of Kyle's skill as a marksman, he had a $80000 bounty on his head by the enemy.
Kyle's book and memorial program

He left the US Navy in 2009 and returned to Midlothian, Texas with his wife and two children.  He
wrote his life story in a book called "American Sniper with the money from the book going to the Heroes Project.  It became a New York Times bestseller. He made several television appearances including the "Today Show" "Stars Earn Stripes" and the Bill O'Reilly.

On Feb. 2, 2013, Chris and a friend, Chad Littlefield were doing some shooting practice at a range in Rough Creek Ranch Resort in Erath County, Texas.  The two friends were working with another soldier who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.  The other soldier, Eddie Ray Routh mortally shot both Kyle and Littlefield.  Routh was later captured during a freeway chase.

Honors as Texas State Cemetery
Memorial at Cowboy stadium
Chris Kyle's life was celebrated at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 11, 2013 (program pictured)  that was attended by nearly 7000 people.  It was said of Kyle, "he was more than an excellent sniper feared by U.S. enemies-he was a dedicated family man known for his sense of humor, compassion, selflessness and generosity."  Country singer Randy Travis sang "Whisper My Name" that was requested by Chris' wife, Taya because of the song's meaning to both Chris and Taya.  His flag draped casket sat in the middle of the Cowboy "star" The day following the memorial tribute, Kyle was laid to rest nearly 200 miles away in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin where people lined the streets and the hearse was accompanied by the Patriot Guard and nearly 200 vehicles.

No comments:

Post a Comment