“I’ve lived the literal meaning of the ‘land of the free’ and ‘home of the brave.’ It’s not corny for me. I feel it in my heart. I feel it in my chest. Even at a ball game, when someone talks during the anthem or doesn’t take off his hat, it pisses me off. I’m not one to be quiet about it, either.” – Chris Kyle, “American Sniper”
It’s been a year since we lost Chris Kyle. The former Navy SEAL and precision sniper was killed on February 2, 2013. In the year since his death, we have been inspired by the outpouring of condolences for the Kyle family, and the number of Americans choosing to use this tragedy as a motivator for good. We’ve witnessed patriotic Americans step forward with a renewed dedication to honoring our heroes, and ensuring they receive the best care possible upon return home.
Chris was a fighter in every sense of the word. He served four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and elsewhere. For his bravery in battle, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. Additionally, he received the Grateful Nation Award, given by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Following his combat deployments, he became chief instructor for training Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter-Sniper teams, and he authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual. In January 2013, his #1 NY Times Bestseller “American Sniper” was released.
Chris believed in devoting time to helping disabled veterans, volunteering with several military support non-profits including the Boot Campaign and Lone Survivor Foundation. He truly believed that it is our duty to serve those who serve us.
His wife, Taya, didn’t miss a beat in furthering her late husband’s legacy. In the past year, she has traveled the country lending her voice to carry on Chris’ determination of honoring and lending assistance to service members and their families. In her travels, she has gracefully laced up combat boots becoming an official Boot Campaign Hero Ambassador. She is also working diligently to build the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation http://ChrisKyleFrog.com, and we can only imagine the tremendous impact she will continue to make in the lives of Veterans and military families, while inspiring a new batch of Americans to lace up their boots, roll up their sleeves, and embody our motto, “When They Come Back, We Give Back”.