HONORING CHIEF PETTY OFFICER CHRIS KYLE
(House of Representatives - February 13, 2013)

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[Pages H488-H497]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                HONORING CHIEF PETTY OFFICER CHRIS KYLE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2013, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Neugebauer) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. 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.
  Mr. 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.
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I thank the gentleman.
  One of the things about Kyle is, you said he wasn't a public figure. 
Kyle was pretty unassuming. Sometimes people wanted to talk about these 
records that he had accumulated. Chris would always kind of shake that 
off. He said:

       My service wasn't about trying to get a record. My service 
     was trying to help my country, and my job was to make sure 
     that the bad guys didn't get my guys.

  I think that's the kind of man that he was.
  One of the things that the gentleman mentioned was regarding the 
motorcade from Dallas yesterday to Austin, to the Texas State Cemetery. 
I saw some of the video of that, and it was just amazing, the 
patriotism all along that almost 200-mile trek of people that wanted to 
express their appreciation. Many of them never met Chris Kyle, but they 
knew what he stood for and what he meant.
  As we go along, before I recognize another great patriot from Texas, 
I was going to read some of the emails that have been pouring in to me. 
This is one from Jim DeFelice, who is a coauthor of the ``American 
Sniper'' book with Chris. He sent an email, and I will read just a 
little of it. He said:

       Of my many memories of Chris, perhaps this one sums up the 
     kind of man he was: On the morning of Hurricane Sandy, as I 
     was going out to check on the damage to our house in the 
     neighborhood, I received a text message from him asking if I 
     was okay and if we needed anything. Even though he was over 
     2,000 miles away, I knew that if I asked for help he would 
     have thrown a bag in the back of his pickup and driven up 
     within the hour. It was that kind of spirit, in everything he 
     did, that made Chris a great warrior, a great SEAL and a 
     great American. I am grateful to have known him.

  It is now my honor to recognize Mr. Gohmert, the gentleman from 
Texas, for words he might want to speak.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Thank you, and I thank my dear friend from Texas for 
having this time and for honoring such a great American hero.
  Chris Kyle clearly loved his country. He loved his family, he loved 
those with whom he served and was willing to lay down his life for his 
friends. Every time he was committed to hostile theater, he knew he 
might be laying down his life for his friends. He also knew that the 
ultimate authority on love, Jesus, is quoted in John 15:13 saying:

       Greater love hath no one than this, that he lay down his 
     life for his friends.

  Chris had that commitment every time he was in a hostile area. He was 
willing to do that. And the fact that he gave up his life trying to 
help another servicemember who was suffering from a mental problem 
still is an act of laying down his life in service for others. He did 
it for this country, he did it for his friends, and he did it for 
those, including the gunman that took his own life.
  Now, it was a very moving service. I don't believe it was broadcast. 
But for all of us who were there, we were deeply moved. The show of 
support, love, and affection for an American hero was deeply touching.
  Chad Littlefield, the same situation, a man that was willing to lay 
down his life for his friends, and he did.
  I think most people, Mr. Neugebauer, have heard and read about this 
extraordinary man, Chris Kyle, his service to the country, three Silver 
Stars and five Bronze Stars. What an incredible, incredible service to 
his country. He deserves the tribute being brought and much, much more.
  I would like to say a little bit about the sacrifice of some American 
heroes who don't always get recognized as heroes. In Chris' case, it's 
his wife, Taya, and their two children--sweet little notes on the 
bulletin at the funeral that they had written. His parents--it was an 
honor to meet Chris' parents. But we don't often think of the families 
and what they have laid down. They have lost father, husband, friend, 
confidante, a man who would do anything for them. They have paid an 
ultimate sacrifice.
  I was reading some years back in--actually it's a journal basically 
that C.S. Lewis had written after his wife died. In one of the entries, 
he was talking about how much he missed his wife, how much he wished he 
had her back, and then he realized how selfish that was because she was 
in paradise, and his act of selfishness was to want a loved one to come 
back into a world where that loved one would only have to some day 
again die before they could return to paradise. I believe with all my 
heart that Chris, as a Christian, is in paradise. He's greatly missed, 
and especially by those closest to him that paid that ultimate price.

                              {time}  1520

  We wish he were back, but then he would have to go through that 
process again.
  C.S. Lewis said, We've always heard that Stephen was the first 
martyr, but didn't Lazarus get the rawer deal? I never thought about it 
before. We're told Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. You can't find 
any reference in scripture of Lazarus saying anything ever because he 
might have said something like, I was in paradise, and you're bringing 
me back here now?
  Nonetheless, Chris has served honorably and well. He's greatly 
missed. And we should not forget the family members of those who have 
lost loved ones in service to this country. They have paid the ultimate 
price: his parents, his wife, his kids, his brother. Obviously, his 
brother sorely missed Chris. So let's pay tribute to Chris, to those 
who have sacrificed in giving their loved one Chris for our country.
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I thank the gentleman, and I think the point that you 
make is extremely important about our families. As Members of Congress, 
we get an opportunity and many occasions to travel to the theater and 
to thank those men and women that are deployed and for their 
outstanding service to their country.
  I know that my colleagues also do the same thing I do; that is, when 
you're around their families, you understand and they understand that 
this is a team sport. It's those families that support our military 
folks back home and keep the homefront going while our men and women go 
and do the job we ask them to do, which is an important part of making 
sure America has a strong defense.
  I got an anonymous email from a person that wanted to express their 
thoughts about Chris. He says:

       When veterans asked for help or wanted to meet with him, 
     Chris made time for them. When children needed him, he made 
     time for them. The week before he died, his wife was 
     marveling at how he could make time for so many different 
     aspects of his work while making time for his family and 
     still squeezing in time for children and veterans in need. He 
     shrugged and let this simple reply speak volumes of his 
     character, ``Kids and vets, right, babe?''

  Chris was working hard, juggling many different things to make a 
living for his family. He worked hard mostly because he had already 
made the decision to give away more money than he had earned in his 
lifetime in order to support the families of the fallen. I think that 
says a lot about Chris. Chris wasn't caught up in material things. He 
wasn't caught up in honors. Every day, Chris had a servant's spirit
  It is now my honor to recognize another great Texan, my neighbor to 
the south, Mr. Conaway.
  Mr. CONAWAY. I thank the gentleman for yielding some time and 
allowing me to add my inadequate words and thoughts for Chris and his 
family.
  I had purchased Chris's book a long time ago; but as things go, I 
just hadn't read it. After he was murdered a week or so ago, I read his 
book. It was a very unsettling experience.
  The book is written in what appears to be Chris's voice. I never met 
Chris, and so I didn't know what he actually sounded like when he 
spoke. But the book is written in a very conversational tone, and it's 
almost like you're

[[Page H491]]

having that conversation with Chris. You're reading, and you're caught 
up in the stories, and you're caught up in the action. You go, Oh, he 
was murdered several days ago.
  Chris's style of talking about himself and the things that he did on 
behalf of his country were very self-deprecating, very matter of fact. 
I'm sure most of the instances in there where he talked about coming 
close to being hurt or coming close to near-death experiences are 
sugarcoated from what the real deal was because I know he didn't want 
his wife and family and many to know. He certainly wouldn't have been 
bragging about that anyway.
  But Chris had a very matter-of-fact tone when he was with the SEALs 
and he was in those battles. Even when he was home, he had a very--
``casual'' is not the right word--but very matter-of-fact attitude 
toward the fact that he could be killed, that something bad could 
happen to him.
  He also spoke in the book often about his faith and a guardian angel. 
There was one instance where he just moved differently than he normally 
would have moved, and a bullet went right where he had been. That's a 
Holy-Spirit-kind of thing. It just wasn't Chris's time.
  So you read through that book, but you know Chris has been taken from 
us, he's been murdered, and America has lost one of her very best to 
have worn our colors and to have served.
  I think the thing that comes out of the story in the book was he and 
his wife's struggle. What was most impressive about it was how torn he 
was between duty to country and duty to family. He was clear that his 
first duty was to God, but he was legitimately torn between the 
responsibilities to not only himself, but his men and the others under 
his watch and care, and those he protected by killing bad guys before 
they had a chance to kill our guys. That role he played, he relished 
it, he cherished it, and he wanted to do it; but he also began to 
recognize and see the impact it was having on his wife and kids.

  So the struggle he and Taya went through of trying to come to the 
decision of, Do I give up something I really love to do, and I feel 
like my duty to do it, that I will have abandoned my friends if I go in 
a different direction? How difficult that decision was for him and his 
family, but that he ultimately decided that his role, God's direction 
for him, was that he be a full-time father to his two kids and a full-
time husband to his wife.
  The sense of loss from leaving the service, leaving the SEALs--the 
truth of the matter is he was in a period of our country's history that 
is not likely to be repeated ever again. I certainly hope not. The way 
he spoke about the opportunity to lay his life down for others is very 
matter of fact in that he was certainly willing to do that.
  I agree with Randy and Louie as they talked about the families. They 
really are the unsung--I got a little taste of this back when Iraq was 
going on in a big way and Afghanistan. I've made multiple trips. My 
wife, Suzanne, is just a basket case while I'm in country. And they 
never take Members of Congress to any place scary. They're not going to 
do that. If anything, it would be a helicopter failure or something. 
For the most part, they never take us anywhere scary, but she doesn't 
know that. I know it. I know everything is fine. We're wearing suits 
and ties, and it's fine. But she doesn't know that until I get out of 
country. As soon as she knew that, I would sense the relief in her.
  That gives me a microscopic sense of what these families have done 
for 12 years now across the board with their loved ones downrange. As 
far as the family is concerned, it's a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week risk 
for their loved one. The loved one knows when it's scary and when it's 
not and knows when things are going crazy, but the family back home 
doesn't. They're dreading that car pulling up out front because they 
know that their loved one is someplace where they could get hurt or 
killed. The strength of the American serviceman's and servicewoman's 
family is to support them throughout this timeframe, where we've asked 
them as a country to do far more for this country than should ever have 
been asked of any one individual.
  Yes, it's an all-volunteer force and, yes, they continue to reenlist, 
re-up, and go at it. But we've asked them to do more than we should 
have. They've recognized that we had to ask them to do these things. So 
I too brag on the families because that really is where the strength of 
America is shown, in families being able to back Chris up and the 
things that he was trying to do to make sure he was able to do 
downrange all he needed to do without worrying about what was going on 
back home.
  It is so difficult to lose someone like Chris. We had a wonderful 
organization in Midland, Texas, called Show of Support, a similar thing 
to what Chris was doing with his life after he got out, and that is in 
this instance they take wounded vets on deer hunts. They bring them 
into town, and they have a big banquet. They take the wives on a 
shopping spree and to the spa, and then they take the guys hunting. In 
this past year, they were in the parade heading down to the banquet. 
And the float that several were on was hit by a train, and four of 
these men were killed. These men who were killed had already had wounds 
of war that showed up in their lives every single day. One was killed 
pushing his wife out of harm's way.
  So losing those four, the personal experience we think we feel with 
Chris--and we don't, but we do, because he's one of our best and one of 
those who has done far more for our country than we should have asked--
does feel personal.
  I ask folks around Memorial Day every year that we thank our country 
and we thank folks for the sacrifices made on behalf of our country, 
but it's generally in the generic, generally as a group. What I ask 
people to do is I say, Look, I want you to pick out somebody specific. 
I want you to think about somebody who we're memorializing today who 
has actually laid down their life in defense of this country. I want it 
to hurt a little bit. I want it to cost something for you to say the 
things we say very casually on Memorial Day.

                              {time}  1530

  I now have someone else I can think about on Memorial Day when we 
should all, as a country, recognize these collective sacrifices. 
Sometimes when you recognize them in the collective, it loses the 
impact, so I would encourage folks to recognize those sacrifices in the 
specific by picking out somebody you went to high school with who was 
killed in Vietnam, as in my case, or someone you know--a family member 
or whomever--about whom you can say, All right, as it ought to hurt 
just a little bit.
  I want to thank the gentleman for giving me a chance to add, as I 
mentioned earlier, my inadequate thoughts on Chris and on his 
dedication to this country and his sacrifice. I wish Godspeed to his 
family as they cope with Chris' absence in this life.
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I thank the gentleman.
  If Chris were here and were standing next to me, I think one of the 
things he would say is, Randy, you need to talk about my team members.
  He was a Navy SEAL. If you read the book or if you talk to a Navy 
SEAL--and I've visited with Chris--the SEAL team members, because of 
the things that they do together, have to trust each other explicitly. 
He lost some of his team members while they were serving our country. 
He grieved over that, and he thought about them a lot.
  One of his teammates sent me an email that reads:

       Chris Kyle is an American hero who will be sorely missed by 
     his brothers in arms, the great State of Texas, and the 
     entire United States of America. For the last week, we have 
     mourned his death, but I ask you today to take joy in his 
     life, to truly appreciate the time he was with us; and may we 
     continue Chris' legacy of service unto one another and 
     support our wounded veterans who are battling with PTSD. 
     Thank you to everyone for their support and prayers. God 
     bless America.

  Now it's my pleasure to recognize the gentlewoman from the Fort Worth 
area, Ms. Granger from Texas, who has spent a lot of her career in 
Congress helping to make sure that our soldiers have the things that 
they need and supporting them.
  Ms. GRANGER. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to rise today to 
honor a true American hero, who is Chris Kyle, a retired Navy SEAL 
chief petty officer who was killed in Glen Rose, Texas, on February 2.

[[Page H492]]

  Chris Kyle heroically defended his country through four tours of duty 
in Iraq, where he participated in major battles throughout the country. 
He was the single deadliest sniper in the history of the United States 
military. Chief Kyle was shot twice in the fighting and was in six 
separate IED explosions. However, he never received the Purple Heart 
because he didn't want to be separated from his unit while the 
paperwork was being processed.
  Chris Kyle fought for his country and saved the lives of many of his 
fellow Americans, but his accomplishments extended far beyond the 
battlefield. After 10 years of service as a SEAL, Chris retired from 
the Navy to focus on his family. He continued to train military 
personnel and security staff, and he wrote a book documenting his time 
in combat, which one of the Members talked about. Rather than keep the 
proceeds from the sale of the book, he donated the money to the 
families of two fellow SEAL members who had fallen in battle.
  On February 2, Chris and his friend Chad Littlefield were tragically 
killed by a veteran they had sought to help. This act of violence may 
have taken Mr. Kyle's life, but it doesn't erase the powerful legacy he 
leaves behind.
  Mr. Kyle is survived by his wife and two young children. He lives on 
through his family, through the lives he saved through his heroism in 
combat, and through the veterans he helped. He continues to be a source 
of inspiration to all who know his story.
  On February 11, more than 7,000 people from around the country 
gathered in Cowboy Stadium for Chris Kyle's memorial service. Hundreds 
more braved bad weather to line roads and highways to honor Chris by 
watching his funeral procession on the way to the Texas State Cemetery. 
It was a fitting tribute to a man who touched the lives of so many and 
who will continue to do so even after his death.
  This country owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Chris Kyle for 
his selfless service to his country, both on and off the battlefield. 
His heroism and the heroism of all his fellow veterans will never be 
forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, his children, his 
family and friends, and especially with his teammates.
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I thank the gentlewoman.
  As was mentioned, after Chris left the SEAL team, he went to Texas, 
and they formed a company called Craft International. The CEO of that 
company is a gentleman by the name of Steven Young, and he sent this 
email:

       Chris was a true American hero in having devoted his adult 
     life to serving his country in combat as a member of the U.S. 
     Navy SEALs and in training our military and law enforcement 
     personnel after leaving the Navy. Chris was also an extremely 
     devoted family man, a wonderful husband and a loving father. 
     He gave so much of his time to charitable causes that 
     assisted military personnel and their families, and he died 
     while trying to help a struggling servicemember. We are all 
     saddened by his tragic death. America lost one of its finest 
     sons and a true patriot.

  I think, again, there is a common theme here. Chris was always doing 
things for other people. As was mentioned, when someone was involved in 
a hurricane, Chris was saying, Do I need to go all the way to New York 
to help you? That was his motto--he was service-oriented.
  It is now my pleasure to recognize another great Texan, one of our 
newer Members of Congress, Mr. Blake Farenthold.
  Mr. BARTON. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I yield to the gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. BARTON. You keep saying ``another great Texan.'' That's 
redundant. If you say ``Texan,'' it's assumed that they're great.
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. They're all great. Exactly.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Thank you very much. It's my pleasure to be up here 
even though it is a very solemn occasion.
  I didn't have the honor or privilege of knowing Chief Chris Kyle, but 
as I've heard my fellow Texans speak of him and as many Americans have 
gotten to know him through his book, it's just a true testament to the 
American soldier and to the traditions of our military that Chris, 
after heroic and valiant service to our country, came back, and instead 
of just fading, he continued to help his fellow servicemen. The tragedy 
associated with his death, one of helping another, is heart-wrenching, 
but it does call to mind that the greatest traditions and values of 
America are manifested through our service. He was doing just that when 
he was killed by a fellow veteran he was trying to help.
  We in this country and in Congress have worked hard to provide health 
care, including mental health care, for our veterans. We are growing 
and expanding that service through the VA now. Just last week, I toured 
a new VA facility in my hometown of Corpus Christi. It has a large area 
devoted just to treating some of the psychological problems that many 
of our veterans come home with after experiencing the horrors of war. 
It's something that we need to continue to do as a country, and it's 
something that we need to continue to do as Americans.
  Though the result of Chief Kyle's help was tragic, it doesn't 
diminish our responsibility and our duty to help our fellow Americans, 
especially our heroes who are suffering, and we can do that in a wide 
variety of ways. We're doing it, obviously, in Congress in the way 
Congress does things--we're enacting laws; we're appropriating money; 
we're doing programs--but helping on a very personal level is something 
that we need to continue to do, and that is a legacy of Chief Kyle's.
  I was reading a Dallas Morning News article this morning about the 
kind of funeral that he received. There were 200 Patriot Guard Riders 
accompanying the funeral procession from the memorial service that was 
held at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, Texas, to his burial in a place of 
honor--in the Texas State Cemetery, right in the center of the 
cemetery. This is just indicative of how we as Texans and how we as 
Americans feel about our servicemen. They deserve our honor and 
respect, and I'm proud that Texas and America have turned out for Chris 
Kyle.
  I want to add my and my family's prayers to those of the rest of this 
Congress for Chris' wife and their children and for the entire Kyle 
family. We as a Nation have a profound sense of gratitude for our 
servicemen and -women, both active and retired, and it's our 
responsibility to care for them when they return home.

                              {time}  1540

  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I thank the gentleman. A couple of other emails here. 
This is from Jeff Staubach:

       He was very appreciative of his friends and family. He 
     never hesitated to thank me for the smallest gestures. We 
     were lucky to have him fighting for us, risking his life for 
     us, and being our friend. About 2 months ago, I emailed him 
     and told him that we needed to go get a beer soon. It was 
     Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's, SHOT Show. We 
     never pinned down a date. I wish I could grab another beer 
     with him, just to sit back and talk about our kids, what the 
     Cowboys will do this fall, and when we'd go shoot again 
     together.

  I imagine what Chris would tell us today, and what Chris knew, 
because he was putting his life on the line every day, is that every 
day is precious. Every day is a gift from God, and that we must be a 
good steward of that day that he gives us. Chris Kyle, the day that he 
left us, left his house, thought he'd go out and shoot, maybe help this 
young man, and, unfortunately, actually lost his life doing that.
  Mark Spicer, another friend, said:

       I once asked Chris why he chose the SEALS, and he told me 
     it was because he had been told it was the hardest to get 
     into, and that typified the Chris Kyle we all knew. Chris 
     would hit any challenge head on and never flinch from hard 
     work and his unselfish devotion to those around him.

  It is now my pleasure to recognize one of our newer members from the 
Texas delegation, Mr. Steve Stockman.
  Mr. STOCKMAN. Thank you for offering this opportunity to honor a 
gentleman and a Texan who has demonstrated beyond any belief that he is 
dedicated to his country. After he served, he could have gone, walked 
out and done other things. But instead, Chris took it upon himself to 
have compassion for his fellow soldiers. And in that process, he gave 
the ultimate sacrifice, his life. He's an American hero, and I offer my 
deepest sympathy to his wife and his two children. He served our Nation 
courageously, and served with multiple injuries during four tours of 
Iraq.

[[Page H493]]

  Chris retired in 2009 to spend more time with his family. On top of 
being a warrior, Chris was a Christian, a son, a husband, and a father. 
On behalf of myself and my wife, Patty, our hearts go out to Chris' 
wife and her family. Our Nation will never forget and forever be 
grateful to Chris' service and for Chris' undying belief in Christ and 
sharing his testimony. Chris was the kind of humble and kind man who 
always put the needs of others before himself. Chris continued his 
passion with his nonprofit, FITCO Cares, which provided in-home fitness 
equipment to physically and emotionally wounded veterans.
  I'd like to say to Chris--which I know he's upstairs listening to us 
with God and with his Lord--that we are so honored and deeply touched 
that you gave your entire life for this Nation and that you have set an 
example for all of us in this House on how to behave. He's an 
individual, and we say nowadays that we don't have many heroes, but 
he's a true hero. He's not a pop star. He's not something that is 
glitter. He did his work and his dedication in silence so that not many 
people knew until his passing. We all should look to him as a leader 
and a hero. We're blessed that we had him on the Earth, and one day 
we'll all see him again.
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I thank the gentleman.
  Another friend of Chris' said:

       You are the definition of a true American hero, but you are 
     also the definition of a true friend. From the late nights to 
     the early mornings, you could always make me laugh. You have 
     ever changed my life and many others. You will forever be 
     missed, but never forgotten. We miss you, brother. Kevin.

  Another friend of Chris' is David Feherty. David has been very 
involved in the Wounded Warrior program and was a friend of Chris'. An 
excerpt from his email, and I think he's talking to all of us:

       So think upon this tonight as you lay yourselves down to 
     rest, and be thankful for the life and service of Chris Kyle, 
     whose spirit lives on in the lives of those who were lucky 
     enough to have known that sweet-hearted, straight-shooting 
     Texas prince. May he rest in peace, and our sorrow turn 
     quickly to happy memories. David Feherty.

  It is now my pleasure to recognize a fellow Texan who also served our 
Nation in the Navy, Mr. Olson.
  Mr. OLSON. I thank my colleague from Lubbock, the 19th Congressional 
District.
  I rise today to pay tribute to a fellow swabbie, a fellow squid, and 
a fellow sailor, Navy Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, an elite retired 
Navy SEAL who was much more than the sum of his parts. Chris Kyle lived 
his life the way he died--in defense of our country and helping his 
fellow man in their time of need.
  Assigned to SEAL Team 3, Sniper Element Charlie platoon within the 
Naval Special Warfare Command, and with over four tours of duty, Chris 
served in every major battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His service 
and sacrifice on behalf of America is well known.
  What is lesser known is his humanity as a devoted husband and a 
loving father. He was a decorated Navy hero with a bright future ahead 
of him. He was on track to become a master chief petty officer, maybe 
even the master chief petty officer for the whole United States Navy, 
the first time a SEAL would hold that title. But he stepped away from 
that career to devote his time to a higher priority--to his children 
and his wife.
  He was active in helping sailors and other veterans with their 
transition back to civilian life. Chris also paired with FITCO Cares 
Foundation, a nonprofit organization which created the Heroes Project.
  FITCO Cares provides free in-home fitness equipment, programs, 
personal training, and life coaching to any veteran with disabilities, 
Gold Star families--those are families who lost a loved one in combat--
or those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was always 
willing to lend a helping hand.
  Today, Texas honors our native son, Chris Kyle. As someone who wore 
the same uniform, I am deeply proud of his commitment to God, family, 
and our country. He was an American patriot, a defender of liberty, a 
husband, and a father. A grateful Nation says good-bye to a man taken 
from this Earth much too soon.
  May God bless Chris Kyle's wife, Taya, his children, his family, and 
all who loved him. I'm sure that in heaven, Chris Kyle is watching over 
his family and us.
  Chris, I wish you fair winds and following seas.
  If Chris were here today, I'd thank him for the gift he gave me and 
my wife, Nancy. When I took off in my P-3 Orion, I knew that if I were 
shot down and fortunate enough to survive the crash, Chris Kyle would 
come get me and take me home from wherever I was in the world, 
regardless of the challenges. We lost an American hero.
  Chris Kyle, I salute you.
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. One of the things that Chris liked was he liked law 
enforcement people. He had a great deal of respect for them, and they 
knew that, that he had respect for them. What Chris knew was, just like 
he put himself in harm's way on a daily basis, that our first 
responders, our policemen and our sheriffs and those State troopers, 
that they put their lives on the line for our country and for our 
citizens as well.
  This is a letter from Dan Parker. He is a law enforcement officer.

                              {time}  1550

  He says:

       I first met Chris in 2010, at a ranch in Texas. I was told 
     just before I would meet him of the truly incredible deeds 
     that he was involved in during the war in Iraq as a soldier 
     and a sniper, and that he was a former SEAL. Being a law 
     enforcement sniper, I was really looking forward to meeting 
     him and was unsure of what to expect.
       What I found was a great man who was truly humble, down to 
     Earth, and was a lot of fun to be around. I also found that 
     Chris truly loved his country and that he'd sacrificed much 
     for it and did not consider himself any type of hero, but 
     only doing his job with his God-given talents.
       Chris also made it very clear he felt a deep sense of 
     responsibility to help any veteran or law enforcement officer 
     he could.

  I now want to recognize Mr. Barton again for some remarks.
  Mr. BARTON. Well, thank you, Congressman Neugebauer. I think we have 
spent a good bit of our time extolling the virtues and honors of Chris 
Kyle and the other gentleman who was murdered, Mr. Littlefield.
  I want to take a minute to brag on you a little bit. Most people 
don't have a very high opinion of the U.S. Congress. Luckily, they 
think higher of their own Congressman.
  I think we should acknowledge how hard you've worked to help the 
family in this time of need, since you knew the family personally. You 
intervened with the Pentagon if the family wanted to try to bury Kyle 
at Arlington Cemetery. I know you've personally interacted with the 
Governor and his staff down in Austin, my staff, obviously, since 
they're my constituents.
  You've gone above and beyond the normal requirements of a Congressman 
to reach out and help because you feel that commitment personally and 
professionally, and I want to commend you.
  I also want to ask a question that I think you know the answer to. I 
have heard and read that an education fund has been established for 
Kyle's children. Is that true?
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I believe that is correct. The gentleman is correct.
  Mr. BARTON. So that being the case, it's certainly appropriate to 
honor the past. But part of his legacy are his children, and I would 
encourage anyone who wishes to get the address or the email and make a 
contribution so that the Nation shows its respect for his service by 
making sure that his children have the education that this country is 
capable of providing.
  I would also encourage anybody who lives near their families to reach 
out and touch them personally. I plan to go by and see both the widows 
of the two gentlemen who were killed and see if I can be of personal 
assistance.
  And then the last thing, obviously, we're here to honor somebody who 
was exceptional, in Chris Kyle. But as we speak, there are hundreds, if 
not thousands, of Chris Kyles on duty right now, protecting us in 
Afghanistan and ready to serve and ready to rescue. All of our 
servicemen and -women, we should thank them when we see them.
  We should show their families here at home we support their service, 
and we should dedicate ourselves today to making sure that our Armed 
Forces have the best equipment, the best training, and, if necessary, 
the best rescue operations, and their families get the very best while 
they're serving

[[Page H494]]

their country, because we're here in freedom because of the Chris Kyles 
and all that they've done and continue to do.
  And, again, I just want to thank you, Congressman, for your effort in 
this and organizing this and all you have done to try to help the 
family. You are truly a gentleman and honorable in every sense of the 
word.
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I thank the gentleman.
  I want to read a few more of these emails I got. And I'm reading 
excerpts of them. And one of the things I'm going to do is put all of 
these in the Record so that the kindness that a lot of people have 
shown, and their love for Chris, can be reflected in our Congressional 
Record.
  This is from Elizabeth Robinson, and she says:

       I only knew Chris from a little under 3 years, but in that 
     time he stood up for me in one of my most confusing moments, 
     gave me encouragement that helped push me into one of my 
     toughest physical trials, and entertained many a moment in 
     the office with his fun banter and laughs. He was a hero of 
     such a grand scale, but that heroism trickled into the 
     everyday through his shining character that made everyday 
     encounters with him special.

  I think that's one of the things about Chris that most of us will 
miss is Chris's sense of humor. He had a great sense of humor. As I 
said, he didn't take himself seriously, and his sense of service.
  This is from Nathan Kirk:

       I move forward with sadness, but equally with the 
     confidence in knowing that the path to healing is through 
     service to others, as evident by the life of Chris Kyle.
       I will never fail you, Chief.
       Semper Fi.

  This is from Tommy Hicks:

       Chris was a good father, a husband, a friend to many. But 
     through his service to our country in the Navy and after, 
     impacted many others, more than he would ever imagine. He is 
     the man everyone strived to be, a man who every American 
     should want their son to be, a man to whom everyone owes a 
     debt. May his memory be served for generations as a role 
     model to the youth of America.

  I'm going to close out our time by reading something that I think 
exemplifies Chris, and it was a big part of his life, and I think it 
also says what Chris's code in life was, and that is the Navy SEAL 
creed. It goes like this:

       In times of war or uncertainty, there is a special breed of 
     warrior ready to answer our Nation's call. A common man with 
     uncommon desire to succeed.
       Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America's finest 
     special operation forces to serve his country, the American 
     people, and to protect their way of life.
       I am that man.
       My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon 
     me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust 
     of those who I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident, 
     I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way 
     of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.
       My loyalty to country and team is beyond reproach. I humbly 
     serve as the guardian of my fellow Americans, always ready to 
     defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not 
     advertise the nature of my work, nor do I seek recognition in 
     my acts. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my 
     profession, placing the welfare and the security of others 
     before my own.
       I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability 
     to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of 
     circumstance, sets me apart from other men.
       Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and 
     my honor are my steadfast. My word is my bond.
       We expect to lead and to be led. In the absence of orders I 
     will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the 
     mission. I will lead by example in all situations.
       I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My 
     Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally 
     stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up 
     every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength 
     to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am 
     never out of the fight.
       We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my 
     teammates and the success of our mission depend on me, my 
     technical skill, my tactical proficiency, and my attention to 
     detail. My training is never complete.
       We train for war and we fight to win. I stand ready to 
     bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to 
     achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. 
     The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when 
     required, yet guided by the very principles that I serve to 
     defend.
       Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition 
     and feared reputation that I'm bound to uphold. In the worst 
     of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve 
     and silently guides my every deed.
       I will not fail.

  I think that sums up the life of Chris Kyle.

                              {time}  1600

  I will personally miss him, and my thoughts and prayers go out to 
Taya and the family. We're going to miss Chris. But I think what Chris' 
friends would say and what Chris would say is: If I made an impact in 
your life, go out and impact somebody else's life.
  May God bless Chris Kyle, may God bless you, and may God bless the 
United States of America.


                             General Leave

  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on 
the subject of my Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
       Throughout his life, Chris Kyle struggled to put his 
     responsibilities to God, Country, and Family into the proper 
     order. God was always first, but he often debated where 
     Country and Family belonged. But through all of his life, he 
     never once put himself ahead of any of those three things. He 
     personified the best traditions not just of the American 
     military and the SEAL community, but of American citizenship. 
     He was truly a warrior in every facet of life.
       There are many ways you can describe Chris--hero, SEAL, 
     father, husband--but I think for most who knew him the most 
     powerful way would be the simplest: Friend.
       My friendship with Chris began when I was privileged to 
     work with him on American Sniper, the story of his life and 
     (some) of his heroic exploits. Though perhaps unlikely, the 
     professional relationship between a Texas good ol' boy and a 
     hard-bitten New York native quickly blossomed into a true 
     friendship.
       Of my many memories of Chris, perhaps this one sums up the 
     kind of man he was: on the morning of Hurricane Sandy, as I 
     was going out to check on the damage to our house the 
     neighbors, I received a text message from him asking if I was 
     OK and if needed anything. Even though he was over two 
     thousand miles away, I knew that if I asked for help he would 
     have thrown a bag in the back of his pickup and driven up 
     within the hour.
       It was that kind of spirit, in everything he did, that made 
     Chris a great warrior, a great SEAL, and a great American. I 
     am grateful to have known him.
       --Jim DeFelice
                                  ____

       Chris Kyle was a man who set his own standards. He believed 
     in hard work and he believed in generosity. He did not 
     believe in a free ride and he did not believe in taking 
     credit for the work of others. He was gracious in his 
     dealings with the public and expected nothing in return.
       Chris Kyle was humble and determined to be the best at 
     whatever he set his heart to do. He clearly set his heart to 
     being the best Navy SEAL he could be. As a warrior, he 
     allowed his heart to harden in the face of adversity in order 
     to do the work necessary to protect his brothers in arms. As 
     a warrior he also made a choice to be a man whose children 
     and wife would know him more as a man than a warrior. He 
     chose to be available for ball games, nighttime prayers and 
     dropping the kids off for school. He tirelessly devoted his 
     time to his community and would not accept payment for 
     anything he did in support of his hometown.
       When veterans asked for help, or wanted to meet him, Chris 
     made time for them. When children needed him, he made time 
     for them. The week before he died, his wife was marveling at 
     how he could make time for so many different aspects of his 
     work while making time for his family and still squeezing in 
     time for children and veterans in need. He shrugged and let 
     his simple reply speak volumes about his character, ``Kid and 
     vets, right babe?''. Chris was working hard juggling many 
     different things to make a living for his family. He worked 
     hard mostly because he had already made the decision to give 
     away more money than he had earned in his lifetime in order 
     to support the fallen. ``Kids and vets, right babe?''
       Chris Kyle was a man like no other. If we can take away 
     anything from his life it would be: live your dreams, make 
     your family a priority even when you are working hard, be 
     patriotic, and take care of kids and vets.
       --Anonymous
                                  ____

       Chris Kyle is an America Hero that will be sorely missed by 
     his brothers in arms, the great state of Texas and the entire 
     United States of America. For the last week we have mourned 
     his death but I ask you to take joy in his life. To truly 
     appreciate the time he was here with us. And may we continue 
     Chris's legacy of service unto others and support our wounded 
     veterans and those battling with PTSD. Thank you to everyone 
     for their support and prayers. God bless America.
       --Anonymous
                                  ____

       Chris was a true American hero having devoted his adult 
     life to serving his country in

[[Page H495]]

     combat as a member of the U.S. Navy SEALs and in training our 
     military and law enforcement personnel after leaving the 
     Navy. Chris was also an extremely devoted family man--a 
     wonderful husband and loving father. He gave so much of his 
     time to charitable causes that assisted military personnel 
     and their families and died while trying to help struggling 
     service member. We are all saddened by his tragic death. 
     America lost one of its finest sons and a true patriot.
       --Steven Young, Craft International's CEO
                                  ____

       I met Chris just a couple weeks after he arrived in Dallas 
     from San Diego in 2009. I remember hearing stories about him 
     and not knowing what to expect. I found him to be a genuine 
     person. He could kick the tar out of just about anyone but 
     that's not what impressed me. It wasn't the stories from 
     Ramadi that impressed me, it was seeing him with his family 
     and his friends. He was very appreciative of his friends and 
     family. He never hesitated to thank me for the smallest of 
     gestures. We were lucky to have him fighting for us, risking 
     his life for us, and being our friend. About two months ago I 
     emailed him and told him we've got to get a beer soon. It was 
     Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Years, Shot Show. . 
     .etc. We never could pin down a date. I wish I could grab 
     another beer with him and just sit back to talk about our 
     kids, what the Cowboys will do this fall, and when we were 
     going to shoot together again. I'll miss times like you see 
     in the attached photo, throwing my arm around him with a 
     joking threat to choke him out, jeans, boots, and cold beer.
       --Jeff Staubach
                                  ____

       Chris Kyle was a normal Texas boy, had a normal education 
     and entered into ranching, considered to me a normal Texas 
     profession, but he was to go on to become anything but 
     normal.
       I once asked Chris why he chose the SEALS and he told me it 
     was because he had been told it was the hardest to get into 
     and that typified the Chris Kyle we all knew. Chris would hit 
     any challenge head on and never flinched from hard work and 
     his unselfish devotion to those around him. It was an 
     inspiration to see.
       Chris always had a mischievous twinkle in his eye and loved 
     to play pranks, laugh and enjoyed life as I have rarely seen 
     but there was another side to Chris that few saw. Chris never 
     truly cared about how successful he was at his chosen 
     profession, he cared deeply about this country, what it 
     stands for and mostly for the fellow soldiers he believes he 
     couldn't save. Chris agonized over this subject many times 
     and it was never far from his thoughts as he settled back 
     into being a husband, loving father and came to terms with 
     not being the tip of the spear anymore, a subject all 
     professionals struggle over. Chris's answer was to join a 
     fellow sniper and form a company designed to pass on their 
     wealth of experience to those who follow and who now stand in 
     harms way.
       --Mark Spicer
                                  ____

       Chris, you are the definition of a True American Hero, but 
     you are also the definition of a True friend! From the late 
     nights to the early morning you could always make us laugh! 
     You have for ever changed my life and many others. You will 
     be forever missed but never forgotten!
       We miss you Brother!!!!
       --Kevin
                                  ____

       Everyone fortunate enough to call themselves Americans 
     should mourn the passing of one of our country's greatest 
     sons, Chris Kyle, for he represented everything that is good 
     about our nation and for that matter, our species. The single 
     greatest threat to mankind's survival on this planet is now 
     and always has been the violent intolerance of those whose 
     religious beliefs differ from those of others. Chris Kyle put 
     himself in harms's way in order to defend our basic human 
     right to evolve as a species, from those who consider 
     teaching their children to commit suicide to be part of the 
     same process.
       Every time Chris Kyle squeezed his trigger, he served to 
     create a safer environment in which we who choose to be 
     tolerant of others, to be kind to others, and to simply try 
     to do the next right thing can co-exist in peace. Sadly 
     mankind finds itself now at a tipping point which most seem 
     to have chosen to ignore, presumably in the hope that it will 
     just sort itself out without the help of men like Chris Kyle. 
     Well people, go luck to all of us with that one, for without 
     such help and the strength of the armed forces of the United 
     States and her allies our children are surely destined to 
     fall victims to the vilest cruelties of our enemies, who 
     would keep their own people so ignorant that they fear for 
     their own lives daily.
       So think upon this tonight as you lay yourselves down to 
     rest, and be thankful for the life and service of Chris Kyle, 
     whose spirit lives on in the lives of those who were lucky 
     enough to have known that sweet-hearted, straight-shooting 
     Texan prince. May he rest in peace, and our sorrow turn 
     quickly to happy memories.
       --David Feherty
                                  ____

       A tribute to a true American Hero that I call a friend.
       I first met Chris in 2010, at a ranch in Texas. I was told 
     just before I meet him of the truly incredible deeds that he 
     was involved in during the Iraq War as a soldier and sniper 
     and that he was a former SEAL. Being a law enforcement sniper 
     I was really looking forward to the meeting but was unsure of 
     what to expect. What I found was a great man that was very 
     humble, down to earth and a lot of fun to be around. I also 
     found that Chris truly loved this country and had sacrificed 
     much for it and did not consider himself any type of hero but 
     was only doing his job with his God given talents. Chris also 
     made it very clear he felt a deep sense responsibility to 
     help any veteran or law enforcement officer he could.
       Chris is gone now due to doing what he felt he had a duty 
     to do. I would like to encourage everyone to keep the memory 
     of Chris Kyle alive and do anything you can to honor him by 
     doing whatever you can to help this countries honored 
     veterans that have given so much and received so little in 
     return. Our veterans are hero's in my eyes and I know Chris 
     felt the same way.
       Chris, I will miss you brother and only wish we could have 
     had more time together before the Lord took you home.
       --Dan Parker, Texas Law Enforcement Officer
                                  ____

       I only knew Chris for a little under 3 years, but in that 
     time he stood up for me in one of my most confusing moments, 
     gave me encouragement that helped push in one of my toughest 
     physical trials, and entertained many a moment in the office 
     with his fun banter and laughs. He was a hero on such a grand 
     scale, but that heroism trickled into the everyday through 
     his shining character that made everyday encounters with him 
     special. Whether he was cranking up the treadmill as I ran, 
     telling me he'd beat up my ex boyfriend for being mean, or 
     telling hilarious stories in the Craft conference room I'll 
     never forget how Chris knew a million different ways to 
     elicit a smile. You'd think meeting such a man as Chris with 
     his reputation and history would make people nervous, but 
     within minutes someone who just met him would be smiling and 
     at ease. Even the times of frustration were colored in such a 
     memorable light by his personality. In a world full of double 
     standards, muddled meaning and confusion, his direct manner 
     was refreshing. I loved being in his presence not because he 
     was a hero or a celebrity, but because he was as genuine a 
     person as you can find today.
       --Elizabeth Robinson
                                  ____

       After having attended the services yesterday for Chris, I 
     owe him yet another ``thank you.''
       The first ``thank you'' is the obvious one that we all owe 
     to him; his military service to the nation in his unrelenting 
     determination to his duties as a SEAL.
       The second ``thank you'' is more personal, and that is the 
     ``thank you'' I owe Chris for giving me a chance when he 
     brought me onboard to his company. To me this is very 
     important, as after having not one, but two ``medical 
     discharges'' from the military, both non-combat related and 
     not allowed to carry on with my brothers; I felt like a 
     failure as a man at the resultant outcome of both of my 
     enlistments. Chris looked beyond this and never made me feel 
     less for my limited service versus his own extraordinary 
     accomplishments and provided an opportunity to serve along 
     side of him in a new and noble mission in the service to our 
     military and law enforcement men and women, and treated me 
     with nothing but equality and respect at all times along the 
     way.
       The third ``thank you'' is in the honor it was to stand 
     with his family, brother SEALs and friends, and salute this 
     man goodbye. As I walked within the line that followed him 
     off the field, I was overwhelmed by grief with more than just 
     the fact that we all had lost an American Hero, but that we 
     had lost a bright shining example of a truly great human 
     being in terms of compassion, generosity, and selfless 
     service to his family, friends, fellow veterans and a nation.
       I move forward with sadness, but equally with the 
     confidence in knowing that the path to healing is through the 
     service to others, as evident by the life of Chris Kyle.
       ``I will not fail you Chief.''
       Semper Fi
       --Nathan Kirk Merithew--USMC
                                  ____

       I was fortunate to have met Chris when he moved back to 
     Texas in 2009 Chris was immediately a presence in my life. 
     His character and sense of loyalty and duty was something I 
     admired and appreciated. He was great to my family, and role 
     model for me and my brother.
       Chris was a good father, husband and friend to many. But 
     through his service to our country in the Navy and after, 
     impacted many others--more than he would ever imagine.
       He is the man everyone should strive to be. A man who every 
     American should want their son to be. A man to whom everyone 
     owes a debt. May his memory be served for generations as a 
     role model to the youth of America.
       Chief Kyle, thank you for your friendship, your service, 
     and the impact you did have on so many of us. You made Texas, 
     the United States, and the world a better place. We will make 
     sure your legacy lives longer than the rest of us.
       --Tommy Hicks
                                  ____

       Randy, thank you for pushing this in Congress. As you know, 
     when Chris retired from an 11-yr career on Seal Team 3, he 
     was the most lethal sniper in US military history with 255 
     confirmed kills (DOD made him take the number down to 150 as 
     the prior US

[[Page H496]]

     record holder was Carlos Hathcock or White Feather in Vietnam 
     with 90). You may wish to include these numbers or not but 
     this is for your information. Chris lived with me and my 
     family for 6 months while his wife and kids prepared and sold 
     their home in Coronado California before they moved to Texas. 
     Chris was born in Hamilton, Texas and was essentially back 
     home when this tragedy took place. He became a best-selling 
     author and decided early to donate the proceeds of the book 
     to the 3 families of team members he had lost while on Seal 
     Team 3. Little did he know that it would be his family 
     needing it the most.
       On Saturday, February 2, 2013, Chief Chris Kyle (USN), 
     Craft International LLC's President and the author of the 
     best-selling book, American Sniper, and a friend were killed 
     on a gun range in Glen Rose, Texas. Chief Kyle, a former Navy 
     SEAL, served four Combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and 
     elsewhere. For his bravery in battle, he was awarded two 
     Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and 
     Marine Corp Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps 
     Commendation. After retiring from the Navy, Chief Kyle 
     founded Craft International LLC, a military and law 
     enforcement training company, and was involved in numerous 
     charities, including co-founding FITCO Cares Foundation, and 
     other charitable events benefiting wounded and disabled 
     servicemen and women returning from combat.
       --J. Kyle Bass
                                  ____

       Yesterday, I had the privilege of witnessing the outpouring 
     of support for Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle as he was 
     escorted to his final resting place in Austin, Texas. 200 
     miles of support. Patriot Guard Riders leading the way. 
     Thousands of people standing in the cold and rain. Flags 
     flying at every turn. Banners and signs with heart-wrenching 
     messages of love and support lining the streets and being 
     hung from freeway overpasses. Veterans raising their arms to 
     salute a hero, their eyes filled with tears, as the 
     procession passed.
       The outpouring of support online was no different. 
     Thousands of people from all over the country who wanted to 
     be there, whose hearts ached to be there, gathered as well. 
     Pictures and videos poured in from all along the 200-mile 
     route. As items were posted, people commented and shared and 
     talked about how they were feeling, how they were touched, 
     how they were watching and listening through tears. It was 
     both a heartbreaking and heartwarming journey.
       I never knew Chris, but his life affected me in profound 
     ways; ways I almost hesitate to share because they are so 
     deeply personal. Chris was a patriot. Not a fair-weather 
     patriot, a standing up and speaking out for what he believed 
     in, knocked down and dragged through the mud, ``I am never 
     out of the fight'' patriot. His passion for his country and 
     his belief in what he stood for were unshakeable.
       I admire Chris, not just for being the warrior he was, but 
     for the man he was. The way he believed in his wife, Taya, 
     when she did not yet believe in herself, and honor his 
     greatest honor was being a father to his two children, is a 
     tribute to the rare, beautiful gift that love is, and the joy 
     it brings to our lives. I love the way he teased he family 
     and friends. The way he reached out to others who were in 
     pain. The way he not just shared, but lived, his faith.
       I believe Chris represents the best in all of us. He exuded 
     the highest ideals. He believed in his country and in his 
     fellow man. He showed us what we are capable of as, 
     individuals, and more importantly, what we are capable of as 
     a nation. What overwhelmed me most yesterday is still what 
     overwhelms me today, and that is how We Stood Together. We 
     stood together for Chris, but more importantly, we stood 
     together for what he believed in. We stood together for our 
     country and for one another. I will carry that moment with me 
     all the days of my life.
       May God bless Chris Kyle, his family, and the United States 
     of America
       Thank you.
       --Anne M. Stratford, Michigan
                                  ____

       With the untimely and unfortunate death of Chris Kyle the 
     world witnessed the coming together of a cross section our 
     Country's people that one never would have placed on the same 
     stage. Military hero's honoring one of their own; family 
     mourning the loss of their rock; a beautiful, smart and 
     strong wife holding it together and providing the stability 
     and comfort for her adoring two young children.
       The world has just begun to hear from Chris Kyle. He has 
     made a difference.
       God rest his soul and bless his wife Taya and the children.
       --Ron Lusk
                                  ____

       I want to note how profoundly sad and sorry I am at the 
     passing of a great American, Chris Kyle, just a few days ago. 
     So many of you on my personal list knew him well. For those 
     who didn't, Chris Kyle was many things: America's most 
     accomplished military sniper, a Navy SEAL, and a selfless 
     servant of our nation at war. You may have heard he was 
     murdered in a terrible fashion in my own hometown of Glen 
     Rose, Texas. It was a sad end for a good man, and it recalls 
     to mind the epitaph given by Thucydides:
       ``The whole earth is the tomb of heroic men: and their 
     story is not graven on their clay, but abides everywhere 
     without visible symbol--woven into the stuff of other men's 
     lives.''
       The work of Chris Kyle is indeed ``woven into the stuff of 
     [our] lives,'' as we prosper, live, and love, in the liberty 
     he defended. It is in his memory, and so many others who 
     fought and died before him, that this work, the work of 
     defending freedom, must continue.
       Our prayers are with his family and friends.
       --Brooke L. Rollins, President and CEO, Texas Public Policy 
     Foundation
                                  ____

       It is not often you see the very best of the United States 
     on display: too often, a problem postponed is considered a 
     problem solved. Yet from time to time the citizens of that 
     nation will do something to remind you of its greatness.
       This past Monday afternoon, in Dallas, I can confidently 
     say I did indeed see the very best of the United States on 
     display as I joined seven thousand others to pay tribute to 
     an extraordinary person. As a friend who was also there 
     observed:
       I don't think an assemblage of so many bronze and silver 
     stars has ever honour one of their own and while we think of 
     Chris as our friend and our hero, he was truly a hero's hero.
       The thing that resonated most with us on Monday afternoon 
     at Cowboys Stadium was not his heroism nor his decorations, 
     it was his personality and his selflessness for his teammates 
     and especially for his children. While I sent out several 
     copies of Chris book, American Sniper, in my November 2012 
     booklist I did not realize that 100% of the proceeds were 
     going to the families of team members who did not make it 
     back from Iraq.
       --James Aitken
                                  ____


                         Tribute to Chris Kyle

                       (By Kevin ``Dauber'' Lacz)

     Of what is a legend forged?
     Is a legend born of a practiced skill or a cold lethality?
     Is it bred by tests of physical strength, overcome and 
           surmounted?
     Does it exist because of records broken, distances conquered, 
           or kills acumulated?
     Is a legend made by numbers in a desert, a tally kept neatly 
           on a papers in an office?
     Can a legend be worn like a trident?
     No. This is not the stuff of legends.
     A legend is made by a man with immeasurable courage and 
           uncommon valor.
     It lives in the heart of the bravest of men--a heart the size 
           of Texas.
     A legend is forged by a man who would lead when others would 
           follow, would risk gladly his safety if only to serve 
           God, country, and family.
     A legend becomes, through the blood of a man shed generously 
           and willingly in defense of the greatest nation on 
           Earth.
     A legend grows through a man's unfathomable love for his 
           wife, his son, and his daughter.
     A legend spreads as a man's generosity, warmth, and 
           infallible friendship reach out and engulf all those he 
           touches.
     A legend endures.
     A legend is forever so long as a man's memory lives on in the 
           hearts of his Brothers, his family, and all those who 
           loved him.
     A legend lives on.
       Chris Kyle's legend lives on in my own heart--the heart of 
     his SEAL Brother, his pupil, and his friend. His legend 
     survives in the memory I keep and pass to my son, as Chris 
     joins the ranks of our nation's finest heroes and warriors. 
     So long as there are men willing to defend the helpless, to 
     hunt down and destroy evil, and to love their God, families, 
     neighbors, and country, Chris Kyle can never die.
       Chris, it was an honor to serve with you. It was a greater 
     honor that you called me friend. Your legend lives on in me.
       --Kevin ``Dauber'' Lacz
  Mr. FLORES. Mr. Speaker, on February 2 America lost Naval Chief Petty 
Officer Christopher Scott Kyle in a tragic shooting.
  Chief Kyle was a true Texan who grew up learning the cowboy ways in 
central Texas. After a riding injury to his arm, his future in the 
rodeo was lost. Kyle went on to pursue his other dream and joined the 
military. He served in the Navy for 10 years most notably as a Chief 
Petty Officer in the Navy SEAL's. Assigned to SEAL team 3 as a sniper, 
he served 4 tours in ``Operation Iraqi Freedom.'' At the time of his 
tragic death, he was helping two fellow veterans cope with post-
military life as he did with many other veterans.
  During his 10 years of service to our country, Chief Kyle earned many 
awards and decorations. He earned two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars 
with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy 
and Marine Corps Commendation. Kyle's achievements and ferocity earned 
not only the respect of his fellow service men and women, but the enemy 
as well.
  On February 12, Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle was laid to rest at 
the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas. Thousands lined the streets 
and highways to pay their respects and honor the service and sacrifice 
of Chief Kyle as his funeral procession traveled 200 miles from 
Midlothian to Austin.
  On that day, we laid this American hero to rest. Our thoughts and 
prayers are with the family and the many friends of Chief Kyle. He

[[Page H497]]

will forever be remembered as an outstanding sailor, husband, and 
father. We thank him and his family for their service and sacrifice for 
our country.
  His sacrifice reflects the words of Jesus in John 15:13, ``Greater 
love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his 
friends.''
  God bless our military men and women, and God bless America.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor an American 
hero, Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle.
  Eleven days ago, Chief Kyle was taken away from all of us while doing 
what he did best--helping others, especially fellow veterans.
  During his four tours in Iraq, Chief Kyle served in every major 
battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His skill as a sniper became 
legendary among Americans and insurgents alike. He was given the 
nickname ``the devil of Ramadi'' by the insurgents and a $20,000 bounty 
was placed on his head.
  By the time Chief Kyle left the Navy in 2009, he had made 160 
confirmed kills, more than any other U.S. military sniper in history.
  Chief Kyle returned home to Midlothian, Texas in 2009 to be with his 
wife, Taya Kyle, and their two young children.
  Chief Kyle continued protecting his fellow warriors through the 
creation of the Fitco Cares Foundation, which raised awareness and 
money to help veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder.
  In 2012, Chief Kyle's, American Sniper, was published. Though his 
book became a best seller, he never received money from it. Instead, he 
used the proceeds for the families of two friends and fellow SEALs.
  Most notable of all, Chief Kyle was a man who loved his family 
deeply, watched over his friends, and did all he could to protect and 
help those close to him.
  I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Chris Kyle and 
offer the thanks of a grateful nation.
  Mr. MARCHANT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart after the 
loss of an American hero. I was saddened last week to learn about the 
tragic death of Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL, decorated Iraq war 
veteran and valuable member of the North Texas community. Mr. Kyle was 
a native Texan and received numerous awards and decorations throughout 
his four tours of duty in Iraq, including two Silver Stars, five Bronze 
Stars with Valor, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
  Upon his honorable discharge in 2009, Mr. Kyle returned home to North 
Texas and began focusing his attention on helping other veterans cope 
with the physical and emotional struggles of life after deployment. 
Whether he was in combat or in the community, Mr. Kyle was always 
dedicated to providing support for his fellow service members. His 
death is truly a significant loss, not only for North Texas, but for 
the country as a whole. I ask my colleagues to join me in mourning the 
passing of this selfless American hero and to continue to send thoughts 
and prayers to his family and loved ones.
  Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of 
native Texan, Chief Petty Officer Christopher Scott Kyle, a Navy SEAL 
and a true American hero.
  Chris Kyle grew up in Odessa, Texas and as a young child, was taught 
to shoot by his father. He went on to use those skills in defense of 
our nation as a SEAL in the U.S. Navy. Chief Kyle served in every major 
battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom during his four tours in Iraq. During 
his time in Iraq, he was shot twice and involved in several IED 
explosions, and was awarded for his distinguished service both the 
Bronze and Silver Star medals several times.
  After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 2009, this devoted 
family man to wife, Taya, and their two children, settled in 
Midlothian, Texas to run Craft International, a firm that provides law 
enforcement training and security protection. Determined to help his 
fellow soldiers, Chris helped create the Fitco Cares Foundation, which 
provides support and encouragement to veterans in need.
  The untimely death of this American patriot and military hero is a 
devastating loss--not just for his precious family, but for his fellow 
veterans, his community and the entire nation. We grieve for his wife, 
and children, who must go on without his presence. We lament that his 
good works are left unfinished. And we mourn for the lives who have 
been robbed of ever knowing him and benefitting from his faith, 
encouragement, and tenacity.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, my prayers today are with the family and 
loved ones of Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle. I was deeply saddened to 
learn of the tragic shooting of two men, including Chief Petty Officer 
Kyle, that took place in Erath County, Texas on February 2nd. A Navy 
SEAL, Chief Petty Officer Kyle earned distinction for his actions in 
battle during several tours of duty in Iraq, and is renowned as the 
most lethal sniper in American military history. Chief Petty Officer 
Kyle--by all accounts, a devoted father and husband--committed his life 
after serving to assisting his fellow veterans.
  I join the citizens of a grateful nation in honoring Chief Petty 
Officer Kyle and all of our current and former military personnel for 
their valiant service. As the son, grandson, and brother of veterans, I 
deeply appreciate the brave men and women who have sacrificed to make 
our country and the world a better, safer place to live. President 
Calvin Coolidge once said, ``The nation which forgets its defenders 
will itself be forgotten.'' I agree, and will do my utmost to make sure 
that our defenders, such as Chief Petty Officer Kyle, are remembered.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today 
in honor and in memory of former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Chris was 
senselessly killed on Saturday, February 2, 2013, along with a fellow 
veteran at a gun range 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Texas.
  Chris was a true patriot who served our country with distinction and 
honor. Born in Odessa, Texas, Chris joined the United States Navy in 
1999, after being initially rejected due to an arm injury sustained 
during his time as a professional bronco rodeo rider. Following his 
initial training, Kyle was assigned to the illustrious SEAL Team 3, 
where he participated in every major battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
For his bravery, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars 
with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy 
and Marine Corps Commendation. Additionally, Kyle is credited with 
sniping more than 160 insurgents throughout his four deployments, 
making him one of the most lethal snipers in the history of the United 
States military.
  After completing his combat duty in 2009, Chris continued to serve 
not only his country but also the unit he loved so much--the Navy 
SEALs--as well as fellow veterans of all branches struggling to cope 
with the effects of serving their country in wartime. Chris authored 
the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine--the first Navy SEAL sniper 
manual--and became chief instructor training Naval Special Warfare 
Sniper and Counter-Sniper teams. In 2011, Chris paired with FITCO 
Fitness to establish the FITCO Cares Foundation Heroes Project to help 
disabled or struggling veterans improve their lives. Chris knew that 
his experiences as a SEAL and the challenges he faced upon returning 
home could best be channeled into helping fellow veterans and their 
families who have given so much to ensure our safety and our freedom.
  Sadly, Chris, along with his friend and fellow veteran, Chad 
Littlefield, died senselessly Saturday while trying to help another 
fellow veteran. While we may never be able to make sense of this 
terrible tragedy, today, we remember the sacrifice of these two brave 
men, who were not only heroic in their defense of this nation, but were 
also heroic here at home as they attempted to better the lives of their 
returning comrades.
  Chris Kyle was deeply committed to serving both his country and his 
fellow veterans and will always be remembered as one who placed honor 
and duty above his own personal interest and safety. I am humbled by 
his service and dedication to not just the SEALs, but to his country, 
his fellow veterans, his community, his friends and his family. His 
sacrifice exemplifies that set forth in John 15:13, ``Greater love has 
no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.''
  May the peace of God be with those they loved and those who loved 
them and sustain them through this time of sorrow.

                          ____________________