Chris Kyle – Always a Hero

 In Military, opinion, Veterans

Chris Kyle – Always a Hero

Loonbird liberals called him a murderer. News media created frenzied controversy over his life story “American Sniper.” But Retired Navy Seal Chris Kyle was every bit the hero that veterans and military believe. February 2016 was three years since the deaths of Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield. In their compassion for helping others, the two friends were brutally gunned down at a gun range by a person they were trying to help.

Why should we remember? The following story should tell us.

Part of the following episode in his life was written by Mark Greenblatt, author of Valor: Unsung Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, which was written in 2014. It is illustrative of the mindset and heart of a true hero – one who never left a man behind.

Covering Fire for Marines

In Fallujah, Chris often provided covering fire from the rooftops as US Marines fought along the ground. One day he heard enemy fire and climbed down off the roof in order to locate the source.

He found a group of Marines huddled at the end of an alley. They told him that another group of Marines was pinned down in a house about 50 yards away.

Greenblatt wrote in Military.com:

Chris could see that every time the Marines moved—even just to peek out the window—a barrage of enemy gunfire would erupt. They were hopelessly trapped. If they had tried to escape down the alley, they would have been gunned down.

Chris knew he had to act. “Seeing those guys getting shot up, it would chew me up inside to know that I sat back in safety and didn’t help them,” he told me.

“I would rather die helping those guys out than have a coward’s conscience the rest of my life,” he said.

So Chris ran down the alley.  It was a broad passageway, ten or fifteen yards wide. The ground was paved and the walls were dense, made of stone or cement with stucco-like coating.

Chris’s plan was to go down the alley and provide suppressive fire, allowing the Marines to escape back to the top of the alley. That meant he would have to go directly in front of the enemy compound—effectively running into the middle of a firing range during target practice.

As he proceeded, insurgents started firing at him.  Chris fired back, trying to keep the heat off the trapped Marines.  He ran out of ammunition and had to reload.  Twice. 

He finally arrived at the house.  Facing the insurgent property and maintaining suppressive fire in that direction, he back-kicked the door to the Marines’ house and shouted (in less-than-diplomatic terms) that they should vacate the area immediately.

Once a hero…

What happened next was sheer heroism, and no other words describe it. As he prepared to leave, he glimpsed a Marine who had been shot in the legs and couldn’t move.

Leaving him behind was not an option.

So Chris grabbed the Marine and started to pull him out of the house…all while holding his sniper rifle. Soon he ran out of ammo, no more magazines left. So he adjusted his rifle, grabbed the Marine with both hands,  and started to “haul ass.”

“I could see shrapnel coming off the wall. Oh, yeah, I thought I was going to die…I was suckin’ wind. My legs were burnin’. I thought I was going to puke. I felt like quitting…I felt like stopping and saying, ‘F__ it. You win. You got me…” Chris Kyle to Mark Greenblatt

Then the Marines began to fire back at the insurgents. For a short time, Chris and his wounded Marine were in a crossfire. Soon, however, the Marines forced the insurgents back and out of the fight. The wounded Marine survived.

Why remember him? The man with 160 confirmed kills as a sniper, was a real hero with a sense of purpose. He overcame dangerous situations, intent on saving others. Once a hero, always a hero.

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