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Nearly 7,000 people attend memorial service for ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas

 

 

Praised for his work with veterans, former Navy SEAL sniper Chis Kyle was honored by his family, friends and fans at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Iraq War veteran Eddie Ray Routh is accused of gunning down Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a Ft. Worth shooting range on Feb. 2.

 

Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013, 9:40 PM
 

	Taya Kyle wife of Chris Kyle speaks about her husband, during a Memorial Service for Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA, 11 February 2013. Chris Kyle was shot and killed 02 February 2013 while helping a Marine Veteran at a shooting range. Chris Kyle was a Navy Seal sniper and author of his autobiographical book American Sniper. 

LARRY W. SMITH/EPA

 

Taya Kyle wife of Chris Kyle speaks about her husband, during a Memorial Service for Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Chris Kyle was shot and killed on Feb. 2 while helping a Marine Veteran at a shooting range. 

Widow Taya Kyle spoke through tears earlier, surrounded by her husband’s military friends, her voice trembling as she described to a crowd of thousands what “my slow-talking Texas man” had meant to his family, friends and country.
“Chris, there isn’t enough time to tell you everything you mean to me and everything you taught me,” the widow said Monday during a two-hour memorial service for Kyle, a decorated sniper and best-selling author who was slain earlier this month at a gun range.

She described herself as broken but said the family will “put one foot in front of the other” to get through their grief. She told her two children that they will remember Kyle’s silly side, Texas twang and prayers they prayed together.

Nearly 7,000 people, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, attended the service. Dozens of military personnel and others were seated in front of the podium near the Dallas Cowboys’ star at midfield, where Kyle’s coffin was placed at the beginning.

His friends and fellow service members told mourners that Kyle was more than an excellent sniper feared by U.S. enemies — he was a dedicated family man known for his sense of humor, compassion, selflessness and generosity. Kyle completed four tours of duty in Iraq and wrote the best-selling book “American Sniper.”



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LARRY W. SMITH/EPA

The coffin containing the body of Chris Kyle is seen on the video screen at Texas Stadium. Approximately 7,000 people attended Kyle's memorial service Monday. 

Some who served with him said that Kyle was a man, myth and legend because he would do anything for his fellow SEALs.

Childhood friends recalled his mischievous side, and one said he and Kyle played with BB guns as kids — and Kyle “wasn’t a good shot back then.”

Bo French, an executive at Craft International, the security training company Kyle started after he left the Navy, told those gathered that Kyle had a passion for helping others. Kyle also founded a nonprofit, FITCO Cares, that provides at-home fitness equipment for emotionally and physically wounded veterans.

Pictures of Kyle with his family and SEALs were shown on a large screen in the stadium. The back page of the memorial service program included copies of handwritten notes from Kyle’s young kids: “I will miss your heart. I will love you even if you died” from his daughter, and “I miss you a lot. One of the best things that has happened to me is you” from his son. The children signed them “Baby Girl” and “Bubba.”

After Taya Kyle’s eulogy, country singer Randy Travis sang “Whisper My Name,” which he said Taya Kyle had told him was a meaningful song for the couple, and “Amazing Grace.”

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HANDOUT/Harper Collins/Reuters

Former Navy Seals Sniper Chris Kyle, picture here in an undated photo,was responsible for 160 kills during his career. 

Kyle’s funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday. He will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin after a 200-mile funeral procession.

Iraq War veteran Eddie Ray Routh, 25, has been charged in the Feb. 2 killings of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a North Texas gun range. Routh is being held in Erath County on $3 million bond.

Taya Kyle spoke kindly of Littlefield during the service Monday, saying he was the “effortless, no expectations” friend that her husband needed.

Many said before Monday’s service that they didn’t know the 38-year-old Chris Kyle. Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Phillips said he came from his Fort Worth home to honor “a brother in arms.”

Esperanza Meza, who is in the Texas State Guard, said: “I’m here to pay my respects to him, and also for all of those who have fallen while serving this country.”

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TIM SHARP/REUTERS

Taya Kyle and her children sit near the coffin of her slain husband former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle during a memorial service for the former sniper turned author. 

Travis Cox, director of FITCO Cares, has said the men apparently had been helping Routh work through post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle, Littlefield and Routh arrived together at the Rough Creek Lodge shooting range, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth, authorities say. Routh later fled in Kyle’s truck and went to his sister’s home.

According to a search warrant, Routh told his sister and brother-in-law that the men “were out shooting target practice and he couldn’t trust them so he killed them before they could kill him.” Routh’s sister called the police, describing her brother as “psychotic.” Routh was arrested after a short police chase.

Routh’s brother-in-law told authorities that Routh had recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

One of Routh’s attorneys, J. Warren St. John, said his client had been released from the Dallas Veterans Affairs hospital against his family’s wishes just two days before the shootings.

Littlefield’s funeral was held Friday in Midlothian. Afterward, Littlefield’s relatives said the outing with Routh was intended to be therapeutic.



Posted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:27 pm by csgod ( Reads: )
Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:27 pm Nuke-Evolution |
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