Americans across the Nation mourned the loss of one of Her heroes two years ago on a crisp, clear Texas February morning as distraught Marine veteran Eddie Ray Routh murdered Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield. The fateful day has brought many Americans together, bound by the “Code of Brotherhood” our military brethren feel toward each other, that “no brother will be forgotten”.
Americans in and out of the military community have picked up the torch of remembrance, embracing Kyle’s accomplishments throughout his military career as well as his personal life. The man impacted many lives, from those he protected during his time in the military to the lives he touched as a son, a brother, a father or friend.
As “American Sniper”, the blockbuster movie written by Jason Hall, directed and produced by Clint Eastwood hit the theaters, Americans across the country were able to get a small glimpse into the mind of this hero as Bradley Cooper attempted to relay to the audience, the intimate details that composed this amazing man. Although his portrayal of Chris was excellent, and many gained insight into the man who was able to save many lives during his time in the military, the best example of respect and admiration still comes from those who worked side by side with this man.
Although I was not fortunate enough to have met Chris, I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with his family and all I can say is; Chris impacted many lives, in many ways and one of those ways, is represented quite visibly through the eyes of those “brothers” who served with him.
The special warfare insignia or more commonly known as the “Trident”, many of us have seen associated with Chris Kyle, is earned through the completion of SEAL training. As is common among that “brotherhood”, members will affix their Trident upon the casket of their fallen brother. This is long-standing tradition among SEAL team members and was no different with Chris, but his death shared that intimate moment with the average American citizen.
Even now, more than two years after his death, Americans, military and civilian alike are still mourning the loss of this man. It is evident through the multiple charities like Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit & Auction – Heroes Will Always Be Remembered, brought to us by his family. These charities are raising monies in Chris’ name, in hopes of helping the very people Chris was so adamant about helping himself; those returning veterans who are having problems integrating their lives into the new civilian role. It is also still very evident through examples of respect and admiration shown by one Marine who says Chris Kyle was responsible for saving his life.
As depicted in the video above, the general manager, Paul Boccafogli of Rough Creek Lodge takes Chris’ wife on a “sentimental” journey as he explains what a Marine named Mack had just recently done in Chris’ remembrance.
Paul goes on to describe the day that “Mack” showed up at the lodge, including his placing the “Trident” upon a post at the shooting station where Chris was shot. He continues his story by describing how Mack then knelt with bowed head, showing respect for the man who was responsible for allowing him to return home alive and start his own family. Paul then states that Mack then rose from bended knee, got in his vehicle and left, not saying another word.
These actions speak volumes in regards to the man Chris Kyle was to his brothers-in-arms. The actions of everyone who helps keep Chris’ memory alive, screams into the blackened void of senseless violence, that WE will not forget what “integrity, honesty and loyalty” meant to Chris Kyle. We will not forget what this man did during his lifetime, and we will not allow his legacy to falter. We will continue to support the causes that Chris supported. We will continue to do the work he started, and not let the actions of one man, on that fateful February morning destroy any more lives.
Chris Kyle was a hero. He wasn’t just a hero to his brothers. He wasn’t just a great man to his family. Chris Kyle was, and always will be an inspiration to every American who continues to extend a hand to their fellow-man, in hopes of seeing them overcome and succeed.
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams