Ex-Navy SEAL died pursuing his passion
STEPHENVILLE, Texas — The former top Navy SEAL sniper who authorities say was killed at a Texas shooting range was devoted to maintaining camaraderie and helping his fellow veterans find their way after leaving active duty.
Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling book "American Sniper," and his friend Chad Littlefield apparently were doing just that Saturday when, officials say, they were shot and killed by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh.Chris was doing what he does, taking a fellow vet to the range, when that vet succumbed to his demons.
My buddy Matt DeVito of Downrange Firearms Training said it best this morning on Facebook:
I posted this last night on my instagram account and decided I should post here as well...
When we wake up in the morning the news will be showing pictures, and tell a story of one man's "struggle" and how he rose above hardships to become... a "hero" and "inspiration" for others. It will tell tales of his bravery, his fame, his illustrious career doing what he loved. What the news will fail to talk about is the real hero, who's life ended so abruptly. A man who disobeyed direct orders, and put his own life on the line to save others. A man who left the safety of his post, to teach young Marines how to clear buildings, so he didn't have to watch any more American servicemen be carried on bloodied stretchers. A man who overcame his own bouts of PTSD, so that he could continue to help others who suffered from the same afflictions. A man who defined the word BRAVERY. Americans have become a society of takers and not makers, praying to false prophets and idolizing fake Gods. Someone who takes lives in cold blood is held up high on a pedestal, and continues to make millions of dollars living his daily life. Yet a man who takes a life, in defense of countless other lives, is demonized, for keeping people he will never meet, on distant shores, in cubicles and offices far away from the cries of battle, safe and free. I've seen a lot of the hatred spewed around the internet, celebrating the death of Chris Kyle, calling it "karma". It's saddened and sickened me, that the same people that Chris fought for, would be so quick to use the rights he defended with his own blood, sweat, and tears, to make a mockery of his life.
If you know a veteran, thank them for their service. Thank them for putting on a uniform every day, not just on Sunday, and putting themselves in harm's way, so that you may have the freedoms you enjoy.
RIP Chris. A TRUE Hero and warrior. Your legacy and spirit will live on.(reprinted with Matt's permission. Thank you for your strong, powerful words, Matt).
Thank you, Chris, and all who serve and have served.
It's a sober reminder whenever we bring new people to the range that we do need to be extra-vigiliant for a number of reasons. If it's a new shooter, we want to make sure first and foremost that they are safe; secondly that they have an enjoyable time. If it's a returning shooter, same as new only with more emphasis on the second part. If it's someone you don't know... I know I've passed on a few requests simply because they made the hair on the back of my neck stand up; maybe I missed an opportunity or two but when that voice talks, I listen to it.
Be careful out there, folks - especially if you happen to be a 2A supporter, as this is the third we've lost in a month's time (Noveske, Ratliff, and now Kyle)...
That is all.