Published on February 3rd, 2013 | by Navy SEALs6
Navy SEAL and American Hero Chris Kyle Killed
Today former Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range at the Rough Creek Lodge in Texas, murdered along with a second individual.
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.
Chris Kyle served as a sniper in the US Navy SEALs and is best known to the American public from writing his memoir, “American Sniper.” After his service, Chris ran a training program called The Craft. Although recognized as America’s deadliest sniper, Chris was known to friends as a very down to earth and humble man.
Please read more at SOFREP.com.
MYTH: Kyle was a perfect person and an utterly honest one.
How do we know that? While I agree that Kyle is a war hero and I respect that he tragically died while trying to help out a troubled fellow veteran, let’s not assume that because he is a war hero, he can do no wrong.
Specifically: Whatever happened to the repeated claim that the book’s proceeds would go/had gone to charity, benefiting the families of his fallen friends?
Consider what Kyle’s publisher wrote after his tragic passing: “He dedicated his life in recent years to supporting veterans and donated the proceeds of American Sniper to the families of his fallen friends” (italics mine). An article in the Blaze definitively proclaimed: “A perfect reflection of his character, Kyle gave all proceeds from his best-selling book American Sniper to the families of soldiers killed in combat” (italics mine). Or this line from a Human Events article: “For American Sniper, Kyle donated the profits from that book to charity.” Kyle himself perpetuated this idea, telling the same proceeds-went-to-charity tale to the Texas News Service and even adding that he regularly received tearful calls and letters of thanks.
And now for the kicker: It isn’t true. Out of the staggering $3 million that American Sniper collected in royalties for Kyle, only $52,000 actually went to the families of fallen servicemen. (Rather than 100 percent of the proceeds, as the public was led to believe, try 2 percent!) While Kyle’s widow claimed, in her testimony, that they never intended to profit from the book, and “wanted” to donate the money to other veterans, she said they were weren’t able to because of — get this! — “gift-tax laws that prevented them from donating more than $13,000 each to two families last year.”
When Ventura’s attorney asked why they did not simply create a nonprofit (standard practice) to be able to give away the money without gift-tax concerns, Kyle said she had not had the time to set up such a nonprofit.
Separately, she noted: “We are trying to find the right places and not just throw it away.”
It’s true that giving money away effectively is more challenging than many people realize. But it’s hard to believe neither of the Kyles was able to sort this problem out: Surely it is quite easy to locate the struggling families of fallen servicemen. And the challenges of setting up a nonprofit don’t excuse the Kyles’ and the publisher’s strongly implying, and allowing others to claim unambiguously, that they were giving all the money away when this was clearly not true.
Why is there no concern for those families of other veterans — many of whom, unlike Kyle’s supposedly destitute widow, probably are struggling financially? Do those families, who were supposed to receive help, not matter?
So what does this all demonstrate, and why should it matter?
For one, Americans are showing a disturbing level of either support or disregard for the legal system — based solely on what they think of the parties involved. That is a dangerous approach. It’s against the fundamentals of justice to decide how you feel about a case based on how much you like the defendant or plaintiff, rather than the facts.
More important, however, it demonstrates a worrisome level of blind hero worship. The idea that, because Kyle served his country bravely and honorably, he was therefore always honorable in all aspects of his life, and can do no wrong, ever, is preposterous. As Pocket Full of Liberty’s editor Skyler Mann wondered: “Not about Chris Kyle in particular but the hullaboo makes me wonder: if a veteran does something super sh**** is it OK because s/he’s a vet?”
A jury, with far more information than we the public have (including the chance to listen to witness testimony and watch Kyle’s deposition), essentially found that Kyle lied. The fact that many conservatives are furiously shaking their heads, refusing to accept this, and taking it even further by attacking Ventura for daring to clear his name is extremely disturbing. Ventura is the jerk for suing to restore his reputation — not Chris Kyle for lying and making an easy target sound like a demon, for the sake of financial gain and publicity.
Got it, that makes perfect sense. We supported George Zimmerman’s defamation lawsuit, but not Jesse Ventura’s. Apparently, it’s not the merits or facts of the case, but rather how likeable the parties are, that determines whom American public opinion supports. Listening to the outrage brigade on social media, big on demagoguery but short on facts, one can conclude that (a) widows can never be sued nor are capable of unjustly profiting and (b) war heroes are perfect in every regard of their lives, forever.
This is blind hero worship, at its most embarrassing.
How hard is it for an old veteran like myself to have to mourn the loss of one of America’s finest young heroes? Under the circumstances, harder than hard. How hard will it be for Chris Kyle’s family? Without question, much harder still.
We owe our military men and women, and especially our special operations warriors and their families. They are the point of the spear that is America’s military might and righteousness. They lead with their lives, in the fight to keep us free. It is a debt most of us cannot begin to calculate and today part of that debt has come due. These shadowy heroes, these covert SEALs, are unknown to most of us. They are a small, tight-knit brotherhood, largely unappreciated, especially in today’s anti-military, anti-America political climate. And they are grossly underpaid. I have no idea what kind of income Mr. Kyle’s book has brought him, but I am certain his family will need all we can raise for them, and for the family of his friend.
Let’s not get lost in the B.S that’s sure to pop up across the Internet. I strongly urge you to ignore the poor excuses for human beings who will speak badly of Mr. Kyle in particular, and our military in general. They will seek to bait you, to anger you, because they are empty holes in desperate need of attention. They are broken scraps of humanity not worth a single moment of the limelight they crave and hope to steal because they cannot earn it. Ignore them, if you can. The visibility we afford them cheapens his memory.
Better, I think, to spend our energies - and whatever money we can afford – appreciating, respecting and remembering all our Mr. Kyles, and trying to help their families. If nothing else, buy Chris’ book. It's a good read and royalties will continue to go to his loved ones. And watch, in the coming days, for other ways and places you can help.
America neeeds heroes and you guys are mine.
The only easy day was yesterday...
Navy SEAL, you will be missed.
Chris Kyle is a real Hero.
If you haven't, read his book, check out Youtube. He is a man who really cares about others and serving our country. Its what being Badass is all about. We are lucky guys like him are here to inspire us.
This Navy SEAL community seems to have a great abundance of them. Mark Devine shares a lot about how to become a better you. Its all right here in this website. Brandon Webb and Jack Murphy do the same at SOFREP, not to mention cutting through political B.S. to tell us the truth. Research Glen and Ty in Benghazi. They took care of others without even thinking twice. I will try that much harder to be a better American and a better person.
Chris Kyle, Rest in Peace