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Randy N.
Republican TX 19

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  • Honoring Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle

    by Representative Randy Neugebauer

    Posted on 2013-02-13

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    NEUGEBAUER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a great American hero, Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, who, unfortunately, was killed on February 2. Normally, you would think that this would be honoring a soldier who was killed in action. Unfortunately, Chris Kyle gave his life while trying to help a fellow soldier who was dealing with some big issues.

    {time} 1500 And so today my colleagues and I want to spend the next hour honoring the life and the sacrifice that Chris Kyle did and gave for his country.

    This is a difficult time for me, not only to honor Chris like this, but Chris [[Page H489]] Kyle was not only a Navy SEAL hero, but he was also a personal friend of myself and my family. And our warmest wishes and prayers and thoughts go out to Taya and the family in this difficult time.

    Now, this will be a time today where we're going to reflect on Chris' life. And we had a tremendous outpouring of people who wanted to share stories about Chris, and we're going to share some of those.

    I know Chris would have wanted this also not to be necessarily about him, but for the country that he fought for and believed in and loved so dearly. Chris was all American. Everything he did, his service to his country, was about his love for the country.

    Not only did Chris love his country, he loved his family. He loved his friends and he loved his wife and children. So I wanted to talk just a little bit about Chris' career.

    Chris spent 11 years as a member of SEAL Team 3, and of course his record is nothing but superb. He retired in 2009, and when he retired he had 255 kills, with 160 of those confirmed by the Pentagon, making him the most lethal sniper in American history. And one thing about that is that Chris was very unassuming.

    I remember knowing a little bit about his background, but then meeting Chris for the first time and how humble he was and how down to earth he was, and he really didn't talk about records. He talked about people, and he talked about what his job was was to protect his fellow soldiers.

    His ability in the battlefield was unmatched. His longest shot came in 2008 when he identified an enemy insurgent that was about to launch a rocket near an Army convoy. From 1.2 miles away, he fired his .338 Lapua Magnum rifle and killed the insurgent, potentially saving the lives of countless Americans.

    Chris was awarded countless honors for his service. He earned two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.

    He was admired by people all over the country. And on this Monday, about 7,000 or 8,000 people gathered in the Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, Texas, to come and pay their respects for Chris Kyle. It was a great loss for our country. It was a great loss for his friends and family. They weren't just honoring an American hero. They were also honoring a husband, a father, a son, a team member, a comrade.

    Chris was a born-and-bred Texas son and a devout Christian. He is survived by his wife, Taya, and two children, whom he loved and cared for deeply. In fact, he made the decision to leave the Navy in 2009 just so he could spend more time with his family at home.

    After retiring from the Navy, Chris founded Craft International, a military and law enforcement training company. He also was intricately involved in numerous charities, including cofounding FITCO Cares Foundation, and other charitable events benefiting wounded and disabled servicemen and -women returning from combat.

    He also wrote The New York Times bestseller, entitled, ``American Sniper,'' which chronicled his time as a SEAL sniper. Chris donated the proceeds to the families of some of the comrades that died with him in combat.

    These examples really show that his sense of service was genuine and deep. He lived by the motto, ``It is our duty to serve those who serve us.'' It is our duty now as American citizens to remember this young man who served so bravely, to pray for his family in a time of mourning. America lost one of its finest sons and a true patriot. We keep Chris and his family in our thoughts and prayers, and we ask God to look after them.

    We also pray for his friend, Chad Littlefield, who was killed alongside Chris, and for his family.

    I am honored to have known Chris, and while he left this Earth at a young age, we know that God is watching over him.

    Before I yield, I wanted to just make one point about the book that Chris wrote, ``American Sniper.'' It was a great book, and it really chronicled the sacrifice and the conditions that a lot of our men and women are under while they serve.

    But what was also an important part of that book was that Taya would chronicle, from time to time, what it was like to be serving alongside Chris in a different capacity, and that is the spouse of one of our deployed men and women, and the pressures and all of the things that are involved in that and the stresses and the separation. And I think it was a great tribute to Chris and Taya to share that intimacy with us so that we could come to greater appreciate his service and her service to our country.

    It is now my pleasure to recognize another gentleman from Texas, who Chris lived in his congressional district, Mr. Barton.

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