Highly Decorated Navy SEAL Shot at Texas Gun Range
Chris Kyle, a legendary former SEAL and author of the best selling book American Sniper, was killed at a gun range in Texas by a former soldier he was helping deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Kyle had set up a foundation, FITCO Cares, to help PTSD sufferers among returning vets.
The Daily Caller quotes blog run by a special ops veteran:
Jack Murphy at the Special Operations Forces Situation Report (SOFREP) published a post regarding the tragic murders on Saturday night, reading in part: “Chris had been volunteering his time to help Marine Corps veterans suffering from PTSD and mentoring them. Part of this process involved taking these veterans to the range where one of them snapped and killed Chris and his neighbor for reasons that remain unknown at this time. The perpetrator then stole Chris’ vehicle in an attempt to escape but we have received word that the police have arrested him.
Kyle was the most decorated sniper in US history, being awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. He had more than 150 confirmed kills in Iraq where he served 4 tours and was known as "The Devil of Ramadi."
It is painfully ironic that he was killed by a man he was trying to help deal with the crushing burden of PTSD -- a cause he dedicated his life to after his retirement in 2009.
Praise poured in from every corner of America as news of Kyle's death was spread:
"We have lost more than we can replace. Chris was a patriot, a great father, and a true supporter of this country and its ideals. This is a tragedy for all of us. I send my deepest prayers and thoughts to his wife and two children," "American Sniper" co-author Scott McEwen said in a statement to ABC News.
Travis Cox, the director of FITCO Cares, the non-profit foundation Kyle established, said Kyle's wife Taya and their children "lost a dedicated father and husband" and the country has lost a "lifelong patriot and an American hero."
"Chris Kyle was a hero for his courageous efforts protecting our country as a U.S. Navy SEAL during four tours of combat. Moreover, he was a hero for his efforts stateside when he helped develop the FITCO Cares Foundation. What began as a plea for help from Chris looking for in-home fitness equipment for his brothers- and sisters-in-arms struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) became an organization that will carry that torch proudly in his honor," Cox said in a statement.
Kyle's death is sure to raise questions about how effectively the government is dealing with vets returning from the front suffering from PTSD. In his own small way, Kyle was making a big difference -- one life at a time.