Farewell to a Fallen Hero
Farewell To A Fallen Hero
I have just returned from Dallas, TX where I was both honored and saddened to be a member of the Chris Kyle family gathering to put Navy Seal Chris Kyle to rest after he was shot in the back by a service man he was trying to help get through his ordeal with PTSD.
Many know of the history of Chris Kyle, but the short version is this was a 38 year old man who fought for our Country during 4 deployments to Iraq where the terrorists named him “The Devil of Ramadi”. For his service, Chris received 5 bronze stars with valor, 2 silver stars as well as numerous purple hearts.
Chris finally returned home to Alpine, retired from the Navy and moved to his home state of Texas where he along with a few others founded CRAFT, a company that trains SWAT teams from around the United States. He wrote a best selling book, American Sniper, and dedicated all of the proceeds to the families of fallen servicemen and women.
Until his death, know one knew just how well respected and loved Chris was. On Monday, I attended his funeral service at Cowboy Stadium, where his casket was place directly on the Dallas Cowboy Star at the 50 yard line. Kyle, a lifelong Cowboy fan would have loved that. At the ceremony attended by countless Thousands, many people who knew Chris spoke of him, however the message from his incredibly strong wife resonated throughout the stadium. She spoke of his love for his children and her. She talked of what it was like to be married to Chief Kyle and how his beloved Texas and his country was one of the most important things in his life.
Chris Kyle’s casket was proceeded by a very large group of bagpipers and drums and carried into the stadium by his beloved brothers, the SEALS.
On Tuesday, a motorcade was formed to transport Chris for burial at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, the State Capital. It was a cold, rainy, windy morning and a 10 mile long motorcade left the Dallas area for the 200 mile journey to Austin. The State of Texas closed Interstate 35 all the way down the state and the motorcade traveled quite swiftly. There was not a single overpass during the 200 mile journey that was not packed to overflowing with people waving signs and flags as they honored Chris Kyle’s life and service. Where there were no overpasses, people had parked along frontage roads and walked down to the edge of the interstate to bow their heads and show respect and sorrow. A highway patrolman estimated over 60,000 people were present along the route.
At the Texas State Cemetery there was not room for everyone and so while family, SEALS and close friends stood by the grave site, there were 1000’s lining around the area. The Texas Patriot Guard Motorcycle club maintained security and not a single incident was seen or reported.
At the Internment, over 100 active and former SEAL team members stepped up to the coffin and pounded their honored trident into the top of the casket until it shown as gold.
The Texas Lt. Governor along with First Lady of Texas, Mrs. Perry were present and after the SEAL Captain presented Mrs. Kyle with the American flag which had been draped over the coffin, Mrs. Perry presented Taya Kyle with the Texas State Flag. The pipers played Amazing Grace, there was a 21 Gun salute to Chief Kyle and as the final notes of Taps resounded through the grounds, a Navy Flight of Jets performed a flyover.
Having witnessed this sad event, my heart was filled with pain for the Kyle family, but pride with how Americans turned out to honor Chris Kyle. A man who loved his country with all of his hear.
Rest In Peace Chris. Your Duty is Complete. Well Done!