RIP Chris Kyle

On Saturday night we lost a true American Hero. Chris Kyle, a retired Navy Seal, author of American Sniper and devoted husband and father was killed along with one of his best friends at an event he was holding for veterans suffering from PTSD.

The suspect is a 25 year old former Marine. He was aprehended in Kyle’s truck last night.

Here is the statement released by his company this morning:

Chief Chris Kyle (USN) and his trusted friend, Chad Littlefield, were tragically killed on Saturday, February 2, 2013, by a troubled veteran whom they were trying to help. Chief Kyle lived by a personal motto that “it is our duty to serve those,who serve us,” and he and Littlefield died honoring this creed. Above all else, Chief Kyle was a unique individual and an amazingly loving father, husband, son, brother, friend and devout Christian who had a profound effect on the lives of those he touched.

Chief Kyle was publicly known for being the President of Craft International LLC and the author of the best-selling book, American Sniper. Chief Kyle, a former Navy SEAL, 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 Corp Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. After retiring from the Navy, Chief Kyle founded Craft International LLC, a military and law enforcement training company, and was involved in numerous charities, including co-founding FITCO Cares Foundation, and other charitable events benefiting wounded and disabled servicemen and women returning from combat.

“Chris was a true American hero having devoted his adult life to serving his country in combat as a member of the U.S. Navy SEALs and in training our military and law enforcement personnel after leaving the Navy. Chris was also an extremely devoted family man – a wonderful husband and loving father. He gave so much of his time to charitable causes that assisted military personnel and their families and died while trying to help a struggling service member. We are all saddened by his tragic death. America lost one of its finest sons and a true patriot. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kyle family” said Steven Young, Craft’s CEO.

My heart absolutely breaks for the Kyle and Littlefield families. They have given up so much for our country and to lose Chris and Chad this way has to fill them with unimaginable pain.

I had the honor of meeting Chris briefly last December while we were at a shooting range for my brother’s bachelor party. Our collective reaction at meeting him was roughly equivalent to a bunch of 12 year old girls sighting Justin Bieber. Getting to spend those few minutes speaking with him cemented in my mind the image of him as not only one of our best warriors but as a loving father, devoted husband, loyal friend and a truly great Christian man.

There is nothing we can do to heal the pain of those impacted by this tragedy other than pray, and we should pray for them. I would also encourage you to join me in donating to help Chris’ family. You can do this by making a donation to America’s Mighty Warriors Foundation and noting that you would like the donation directed to the Chris Kyle Memorial. Chris worked closely with the foundation and 100% of the donations will go to the Kyle family.

Chris was fond of saying that our fighting men and women sign a blank check to their country when they sign up, “payable up to the price of [their] life.” He believed with all his heart that it was his duty to continue to serve his brothers and sisters in arms who write those checks. Last night Chris paid that ultimate sacrifice in that line of service.

May God be with the Kyle family and touch their grieving hearts.