This past Saturday, while most Americans were preparing for the upcoming Superbowl, one of the nation’s hero’s was gunned down in the latest tragedy of “The Long War.” Former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was killed at a shooting range in Glenn Rose, Texas on early Saturday morning, along with one of his friends. Kyle’s alleged shooter, a former Marine who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), was arrested later that day. Chris Kyle was only 38 years old and leaves behind a wife and two young children.
Chris Kyle was the deadliest sniper in recorded American history and, after leaving the military, became an advocate for veteran and combat-stress awareness. Sadly, Kyle’s campaign for increased mental health promotion ultimately led to his death as a fellow veteran whom he was attempting to counsel killed him. After surviving some of the most brutal urban combat in the 21st century and being wounded several times in the line of duty, Kyle’s life was cut short at the place he felt most at home, a rifle range in his home state of Texas. Although he was often a very controversial figure, most people can agree that Chief Kyle served his country courageously in a time when courage was most needed.
Early Life of Chris Kyle
Chris Kyle was born in Odessa, Texas on April 8, 1974. From a very early age, Kyle learned shooting and hunting skills from his father, spending countless hours on the range and in the woods. He also stayed active by participating in bronco rodeo tournaments across Texas, until a severe arm injury forced him to stop. He became interested in joining the United States Marine Corps, but decided to enlist in the United States Navy after a recruiter told him about Sea Air and Land (SEAL) teams. Initially rejected due to the after effects of his rodeo injury, he was given the chance to enlist in the Navy in 1999.
Navy SEALs/Iraq Deployments
After graduating the infamously difficult Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, Kyle was sent to Special Warfare Sniper School, where he learned how to perform the complex and delicate operations of a special forces sniper team. He was then sent to the sniper element of SEAL Team 3 and was deployed to Iraq four times.