(Extensions of Remarks - February 14, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E156]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                               speech of

                            HON. SAM JOHNSON

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I solemnly stand today to 
honor and pay respect to a true American patriot, a devoted father, and 
a loving husband, Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle. Sadly, on February 2, 
2013, Chris and close friend Chad Littlefield were tragically killed on 
a remote ranch in Texas while attempting to help a troubled veteran who 
was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Chris leaves behind 
his lovely wife Taya, and their two children.
   Born on April 8, 1974 in Odessa, Texas, Chris began shooting and 
hunting with his father when he was eight years old. After an accident 
ended a short-lived career as a professional bronco rider, Chris was 
moved from within to satisfy his life-long desire to serve his country 
and join the military. Chris enlisted in the United States Navy, and 
ultimately worked his way to becoming a member of the United States 
Navy's Sea, Air, Land Teams, also known as the U.S. Navy Seals, one of 
our nation's most elite group of special forces units.
   From 1999 to 2009, Chris served four tours in Iraq as a member of 
SEAL Team 3 where he was involved in every major battle of Operation 
Iraqi Freedom. Throughout his time in Iraq, Chris' courage and heroism 
in battle earned him the title and honor of the most elite sniper in 
U.S. history.
   Feared for his deadly accuracy, Chris was nicknamed The Devil of 
Ramadi by insurgents, and recorded a record 150 confirmed kills--one of 
which was a 2,100-yard strike, 1.2 miles away. More importantly 
however, Chris is most remembered for his selfless and unwavering 
ability to protect American troops while perched on rooftops. In fact, 
despite being shot twice and directly involved in multiple IED 
explosions during his tours, Chris always made doing his job and his 
fellow teammates his top priority. For his bravery, Chris was awarded 
two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine 
Corp Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.
   In 2009, Chris retired from his military career in order to dedicate 
more time to his wife and family. Shortly after, he released his New 
York Times bestselling autobiography, American Sniper, which shares his 
battle experiences and sheds light on the true sacrifices that service 
members and their families endure. Unprepared for the books immediate 
success, Chris ultimately donated proceeds from the book to the 
families of fallen service members. For those that knew Chris 
personally, this was nothing out of the ordinary.
   Chris was not just an exemplary soldier; he was a successful 
businessman, a trusted friend and team member, and a devoted husband, 
father, and son. He lived by the professional motto, ``It is our duty 
to serve those who serve us.'' This principle became the driving force 
behind his decision to found Craft International, a military and law 
enforcement training and security company, as well as help create Fitco 
Cares Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans overcome 
post-traumatic stress disorder and adjust to civilian.
   As a former veteran myself, I truly understand the sacrifices Chris 
and his family made for our great country. Chris' devotion to a higher 
calling and his commitment to God, Country, and Family should serve as 
a constant reminder that freedom isn't free. We all owe a debt to men 
and women like Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle.
   Mr. Speaker, I would ask that my colleagues join me in honoring 
Officer Chris Kyle, a true American hero and a man of great principle. 
I extend my deepest condolences to Chris' family, and my thoughts and 
prayers are with them as they move forward in Chris' honor.