Taya Kyle, the widow of Navy SEAL and American Sniper author Chris Kyle, will be in Addison, Texas next week when former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) announces he is running for president, to show her support.
Chris Kyle was the most lethal sniper in American military history and was tragically murdered in 2013 by a veteran who he was trying to help with his PTSD. His autobiography, American Sniper, was turned into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood and starting Bradley Cooper. The film was nominated for six Oscars and won one for Best Sound Editing. Since his death, Taya Kyle has worked to support veterans’ causes in honor of her husband. Earlier this year, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed a proclamation recognizing February 2nd as Chris Kyle Day.
The email message from Kyle, sent Thursday afternoon from RickPAC, the political action committee supporting Perry, begins by saying that “one of the greatest things” Kyle’s husband did for their family was move them to Texas, where he grew up. “Even though he is gone, this state that shaped his patriotism, integrity and loving spirit reminds us of him at every turn,” writes Kyle.
Kyle continues, “I tend to keep my political opinions to myself…but this is different,” explaining how she has gotten to know Perry and his wife Anita “outside the public eye” and appreciated their “humility and commitment to doing the right thing for people regardless of who gets the credit.”
The Perrys “are a breath of fresh air in a political system full of people playing games and twisting the truth,” writes Kyle. “I look beyond the sound bites and even minor disagreements to find who has the economic track record and the character it takes to make tough choices in the face of criticism.”
In addition to Kyle, Perry’s announcement will also feature retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, himself the author of a book, Lone Survivor, which also became a hit movie. The Perrys befriended Luttrell when he returned to Texas after his service and was suffering from PTSD.
Perry previously ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2012. A top contender when he first entered the race, his polling numbers plummeted after a series of debate missteps in the fall of 2011, and he dropped out of the race at the beginning of 2012.
This time around, Perry supporters have been quick to point out that he is in excellent health, unlike the 2012 campaign where he entered the race while still recuperating from back surgery, and has spent the past few years engaged in serious study with a long list of policy advisers.
It remains to be seen if he will be able to break through in a very crowded Republican primary field to secure the top ten placement needed to participate in the first debate. So far, Perry has been praised for his grassroots campaigning efforts in early primary states like Iowa and focus on veterans’ and national security issues.
Perry will be the only Republican presidential candidate with military experience, other than Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is not expected to even win his home state. Perry, an Air Force veteran, flew C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in Europe and the Middle East from 1972 to 1977.
Breitbart News will be in Addison next week to cover Perry’s announcement. More information about the event and tickets are available from RickPAC here.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.