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Joe B.
Republican TX 6

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  • Honoring Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle

    by Representative Joe Barton

    Posted on 2013-02-13

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    BARTON. I thank the gentleman from Lubbock for yielding, and I'm proud to be a part of this Special Order.

    I want to say at the very beginning that, unlike Congressman Neugebauer, I did not know Chris Kyle or Chad Littlefield, the other individual who was killed. They both lived in my congressional district in Midlothian, Texas, and the tragedy of both of their early deaths is equal. Although I didn't know either one, I have studied up on them, and I went to the memorial service at Cowboy Stadium and was very moved by the eulogies and the people's remembrances that did know them.

    I would like to say with regards to Mr. Littlefield, he, too, was a lifelong Texan, born in Dallas, and went to high school in DeSoto. He would have turned 36 Monday, and his funeral was at the Midlothian First Baptist Church last Friday. He is survived by his wife, Leanne, who is a middle school principal in Midlothian, and, I believe, a daughter. So our hearts go out to that family, too.

    With regards to Chris, you could not have attended the service on Monday at the Cowboy Stadium and not have come away very impressed. The press reports are that there were 5,000 to 7,000 in attendance. I have done a number of events at Cowboy Stadium. I asked the head of security for the Cowboys who I know what they estimated the crowd. They said about 11,000.

    As Mr. Neugebauer has already pointed out, Chris was an individual who was driven by a love for his country and a love for his fellow man. I thought it was very telling at the service that the mother of one of his Navy SEALs who had been killed in combat, Chris adopted her as a second mother and asked that some of the proceeds of his book ``American Sniper'' go to her family. That, to me, is just amazing.

    The president of Craft International also spoke at the service, and he spoke about how much Chris really cared about other people.

    {time} 1510 I think it is very telling that Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield were both killed trying to help another troubled veteran. They were taking the suspected murderer to a gun range over in I think near Glen Rose, Texas, and trying to help him work through some problems. The person they were trying to help turned on them. So he died trying to help another person who was in need, and that's something his family can be very proud of.

    I think another thing that we need to say about Chris is when people met him, they liked him and wanted to help him. The number of people who have helped in these service arrangements runs the gamut: The Governor of Texas, Governor Perry, who helped arrange the cemetery plot at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin; Jerry Jones and his family, the owner of the Cowboys, I think donated the use of Cowboys Stadium and were personally in attendance at the funeral; all the law enforcement agencies in the DFW area helped arrange the cavalcade from Midlothian down to Austin. And I am told that at almost every overpass on Interstate 35 and U.S. 287 that there were people showing flags and in attendance. There was an outpouring of love and affection that in my knowledge in the Congress is just unheard of for somebody who was not a public figure. And Chris was not. He was a public patriot, but he was not an ostentatious, grandstand kind of person.

    He loved his family. He loved his two children. He loved his wife. He loved his mother and father. And he loved those whom he served with in the military. As Mr. Neugebauer has pointed out, he served a number of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    [[Page H490]] In one of the stories that is in his book, he was under orders not to fire unless fired upon. In order to get the enemy so that he could shoot them, he put up an American flag, stood up and basically dared them to take a shot at him. And I think this is correct from the book, that when they started shooting at him he got everybody to take a shot at him, and he silenced them.

    So, Congressman Neugebauer, you are to be commended for organizing this Special Order. I'm proud that Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield were constituents of mine. I'm very proud their families still live in my district. Myself and my staff will do everything we can to help them. We will cherish the memory of Chris and Chad for many, many years.

    With that, I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy and I yield back.

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