Operation Ranger Up

Chris Kyle: Rest In Peace, American Sniper

By
Updated: February 3, 2013
chris-kyle-sniper

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” -Heraclitus.

By all accounts, Chris Kyle was a warrior.

Born in 1974 in a town known for its dedication to football, Chris chose to use his physical and athletic ability for…rodeo riding. However, after healing from an injury, he joined the Navy and entered BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL school).

After graduating the course, Kyle was assigned to SEAL Team 3 where he would serve as a sniper during four tours in Iraq, taking part in nearly every major battle during the war. It was in the role of sniper that Chris thrived and, eventually, made a name for himself as the most successful and accomplished at his trade of anyone in our country’s history. In fact, he did his job so well that the enemy gave him a name: Al-Shaitan Ramad–the Devil of Ramadi. sniper-chris-kyle

In his book, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, Kyle details his time in Iraq and the work that made him a legend.From his shooting of a woman preparing to throw a grenade at a group of Marines to his longest shot–the taking out of an insurgent with a rocket launcher from 2,100 yards–are all part of the stories of a man who used his skill set to provide a demonstrably superior overwatch to his brothers. During this time he was also apparently shot twice and hit by numerous IEDs.

After leaving the Navy in 2009, Chris became a household name after his book was published and he was thrust regularly into the limelight; even appearing on the often-mocked television series Stars Earn Stripes, where Chris teamed up with celebrities in order to train them like “special operators.” While many of us laughed at the show, it wasn’t due to the military personnel involved. They did a fantastic job of showing the professionalism that brought them to that level and, deep down, there were probably several other operators out there wishing that it was them on TV embarrassing celebrities and making them cry due to their lack of grit.

kyle8-405x620Kyle also became heavily involved with helping other Veterans who were suffering from PTSD or other disabilities through training, mentoring, and offering whatever services he could. His work with the Heroes Project, providing numerous services to both wounded Vets and their families, showed clearly that Chris was not walking away from service to his country when he left the Navy, but rather transitioning into a different role–one of advocate, mentor, and family man.

On February 2, 2013, Chris was at a shooting range with his friend Chad Littlefield when a man, for what are still unknown reasons, shot and killed both of them. After a police chase lasting most of the rest of that day, the man was taken into custody where he is now.

I am not going to spend time here speculating on the why or how of Chris Kyle’s death; most of the details are somewhat sketchy at this time and to speculate on several of the questions would be simply that–speculation. However, I can speak on behalf of the Ranger Up and Rhino Den nation when I say that we are greatly saddened by such a quick end to the life of a warrior who did so much–and was continuing to do more–for his country. While there are still men and women serving in our Nation’s theaters of war and sacrificing daily, Kyle put a face on that sacrifice for many by reaching out when he could have stayed home; he stepped up and volunteered for more even after doing all that he had done. Not a single soul in this country would have faulted him for living out the rest of his days in a cabin in the woods after leaving the service, but that wasn’t enough for Kyle; he wanted to continue serving, and for that he is a true hero and a true warrior.

Think carefully on the life of a man like this, especially today. As it is Super Bowl Sunday, many Americans will sit intently in front of their television sets nearly worshiping the men on the football field. Remember well that true heroes do not wear cleats and bring down multi-million dollar contracts. They don’t go on strike saying that the millions are “not enough.” True heroes are the ones in the real arena; the one where mistakes cost lives not touchdowns. Chris Kyle not only entered that arena, but he thrived in it, excelled in it, and brought others home because of his dedication to his craft. Again, that is a true warrior.

As of this moment, I am unsure of whether or not there is a charity set up for Chris’ family, so if there is, please do let us know in the comment section. Until that time, I’m certain that Chris would have been honored to have donations made to The Heroes Project on behalf of him, as he worked so diligently to further that cause.

We will update with whatever information we can as it becomes available to us.

Rest in Peace, Chris Kyle, and thank you for your service. You are not forgotten.

chris-kyle

 

Comments

comments

24 Comments

  1. leftoftheboom

    February 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Rest in Peace.

  2. Hanna

    February 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Very well said. Rest in peace, Warrior.

  3. Adam Burroughs

    February 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Well said. Thank you for posting a well written, no-nonsense tribute. Chris will be missed.

  4. Dan Marshall

    February 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Chris and I met through my buddy Marcus Luttrell, he helped me through some dark days of my own. Serving this Country in Uniform or out, he respected all aspects of Americas warriors. I’ll miss his wisdom and ear. Gods Speed my fellow Warrior. God has attained yet another Warrior to stand at his side against Evil. Save me a space my friend…. See you soon.

  5. Trey Corley

    February 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    R.I.P. Chris Kyle You are a Great Warrior & A True American HERO. May God Bless Your Family & God Speed.

  6. Trey Corley

    February 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    R.I.P. Chris Kyle You are a Great Warrior & A True American HERO. May God Bless Your Family & God Speed.
    We Will Remember.

  7. Peg leg

    February 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    What a useless crime! I have a real problem with the VA services for not recognizing a real problem with this suspect! The Commander-in-chief needs to get off his duff & see that these guys are treated. If that means containment in a mental facility for treatment , so be it! Our prayers go out to these 2 Seals’ families! This madness has to STOP!!

  8. Peg leg

    February 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    What a useless crime! I have a real problem with the VA services for not recognizing a real problem with this suspect! The Commander-in-chief needs to get off his duff & see that these guys are treated. If that means containment in a mental facility for treatment , so be it! Our prayers go out to these 2 Seals’ families! This madness has to STOP!! I worked in the Mental Health field for a period of time & my eyes were truly opened. As an interventionist & was trained to recognize the problems. Was it pleasant to have these clients commited?? Absolutely not! But it gave me & client’s families peace of mind. Did this shooter have a registered gun license, Mr President? Put some “common sense” into these decisions!

  9. John

    February 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    For twenty years
    This sailor has stood the watch
    While some of us were in our bunks at night
    This sailor stood the watch

    While some of us were in school learning our trade
    This shipmate stood the watch

    Yes.. even before some of us were born into this world
    This shipmate stood the watch

    In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen brewing on the horizon of history
    This shipmate stood the watch

    Many times he would cast an eye ashore and see his family standing there
    Needing his guidance and help
    Needing that hand to hold during those hard times
    But he still stood the watch

    He stood the watch for twenty years
    He stood the watch so that we, our families and
    Our fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety, Each and every night
    Knowing that a sailor stood the watch

    Today we are here to say
    ‘Shipmate… the watch stands relieved
    Relieved by those You have trained ,Guided, and Lead
    Shipmate you stand relieved.. we have the watch…”

    “Boatswain..Standby to pipe the side…Shipmate’s going Ashore..”

  10. Antonio Aguilar

    February 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    This is a terrible loss, both for the country and for two families. But, I hope that this does not turn into another exaggeration of PTSD. I know three people with PTSD and none of them have done anything like this. We don’t even know if the shooter truly had it or not; so far it is all speculation from what I have heard. I fear though that this will just increase the stigma on good people who do have PTSD and make things harder for them down the road.

  11. Kristy

    February 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    A charity he co found is http://fitcocares.org/

  12. Valerie Conley

    February 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Here is another suggestion for donations — this is a statement from his nonprofit — FITCO Cares:

    Sun Feb 3, 2013 6:46am EST
    http://pdf.reuters.com/htmlnews/8knews.asp?i=43059c3bf0e37541&u=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20130203:nBw035034a

    DALLAS–(Business Wire)–
    On behalf of the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization that Chris
    helped establish, my heart is breaking. Our foundation, FITCO Cares, this
    country and most importantly, his wife Taya and their children, lost a dedicated
    father and husband, 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.

    Chris died doing what he filled his heart with passion – serving soldiers
    struggling with the fight to overcome PTSD. His service, life and premature
    death will never be in vain. May God watch over his family and all those who
    considered Chris a true friend.

    He will forever be missed.

    Travis Cox

    Director

    FITCO Cares Foundation

    USMC Recon Sniper

    for FITCO
    Shawn Paul Wood, (817) 307-0807
    Shawn.Wood@hck2.com

    Copyright Business Wire 2013

  13. Daniel

    February 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    RIP my friend… Thank You for your guidance and friendship through my dark days.

  14. Logan Crooks

    February 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Good Job, Warrior.

  15. Paul Salazar

    February 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Rest in peace Chris

    as a Spec Ops warrior you have earned your place in heaven after serving your time in hell OIF

    NSDQ

  16. Papa Bear

    February 6, 2013 at 7:18 am

    R.I.P. Chris,

    Thank you for watching over those countless American lives over there in hell, some may have been my loved ones. Many came home safe because of your deeds. Now you are home, rest easy, rest well.

    Prayers and condolences to your wife and children. May GOD ease their pain and sorrow.

    -A thankful American

  17. Rod Gregg

    February 12, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I would love to see one of your designs to honor Chris Kyle.

  18. Orry Pirl

    February 12, 2013 at 10:54 am

    His job done and fulfilled on this Earth, God called him home to provide security over watch for the gates of heaven. R.I.P. Chris Kyle – A true American Hero.!!

  19. Adam Henderson

    March 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Well done brother, thank you

  20. Jim Casemier USMC 86-91

    March 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    God bless you, Chris Kyle..Thanks for all you’ve done. You’ll be missed.

  21. Steven Elzy

    March 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Rest In Peace! Chris, Peacemaker and Brother in Arms!

    Well written my brothers! There is a peace not many will ever know having your brother, sniper in the overwatch! I have – for all the lives he saved – THANK You is not enough!

    And I VERY much agree, that a memorial of some sort – shirt and /or sign coming from Ranger UP would be honorable and appropriate.

    “Honor Above All!”

  22. Sergeant Van

    March 7, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Rest in Peace, Chief. We’ll take it from here.

  23. Sebastian

    March 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    His business website has a donation section for his family. You can find it at TheCraft.com

  24. Jared

    May 20, 2013 at 11:49 am

    A true American hero, and one of the most badass mother fucker on planet earth

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