Honoring Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyleby Representative Blake Farenthold
Posted on 2013-02-13
FARENTHOLD. Thank you very much. It's my pleasure to be up here
even though it is a very solemn occasion.
I didn't have the honor or privilege of knowing Chief Chris Kyle, but as I've heard my fellow Texans speak of him and as many Americans have gotten to know him through his book, it's just a true testament to the American soldier and to the traditions of our military that Chris, after heroic and valiant service to our country, came back, and instead of just fading, he continued to help his fellow servicemen. The tragedy associated with his death, one of helping another, is heart-wrenching, but it does call to mind that the greatest traditions and values of America are manifested through our service. He was doing just that when he was killed by a fellow veteran he was trying to help.
We in this country and in Congress have worked hard to provide health care, including mental health care, for our veterans. We are growing and expanding that service through the VA now. Just last week, I toured a new VA facility in my hometown of Corpus Christi. It has a large area devoted just to treating some of the psychological problems that many of our veterans come home with after experiencing the horrors of war. It's something that we need to continue to do as a country, and it's something that we need to continue to do as Americans.
Though the result of Chief Kyle's help was tragic, it doesn't diminish our responsibility and our duty to help our fellow Americans, especially our heroes who are suffering, and we can do that in a wide variety of ways. We're doing it, obviously, in Congress in the way Congress does things--we're enacting laws; we're appropriating money; we're doing programs--but helping on a very personal level is something that we need to continue to do, and that is a legacy of Chief Kyle's.
I was reading a Dallas Morning News article this morning about the kind of funeral that he received. There were 200 Patriot Guard Riders accompanying the funeral procession from the memorial service that was held at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, Texas, to his burial in a place of honor--in the Texas State Cemetery, right in the center of the cemetery. This is just indicative of how we as Texans and how we as Americans feel about our servicemen. They deserve our honor and respect, and I'm proud that Texas and America have turned out for Chris Kyle.
I want to add my and my family's prayers to those of the rest of this Congress for Chris' wife and their children and for the entire Kyle family. We as a Nation have a profound sense of gratitude for our servicemen and -women, both active and retired, and it's our responsibility to care for them when they return home.