The Texas Legislative Medal of Honor may soon be presented posthumously to Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper.” It is among the rarest military medals in the United States.
Texas House Concurrent Resolution 85 calls for Gov. Greg Abbott to award the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Kyle, a native son of the Lone Star State, for his achievements as a SEAL during four tours in Iraq. He is credited with 160 confirmed enemy kills, placing him first among all American military snipers.
The Legislative Medal of Honor is a relatively new award, first given in 1997, and most recently in 2013. Only ten Texans have received it, including Special Forces Sgt. Roy Benavidez from Cuero, and Lt. Audie Murphy from Hunt County, who is commonly referred to as the most decorated American soldier in World War Two.
A panel of four state representatives presented the resolution on Wednesday, including John Wray (R-10th Waxahachie), Charlie Geren (R-99, Fort Worth), Dan Flynn (R-2, Canton) and Cesar Blanco (D-76, El Paso). Blanco is also a Navy veteran who served in the Persian Gulf. The resolution is scheduled to be brought to a vote in the House on Thursday.
Chief Petty Office Christopher Scott “Chris” Kyle was born in Odessa, and graduated high school in Midlothian. He spent some time working in the rodeo, and as a ranch hand, before joining the Navy in 1999.
The Legislative Medal of Honor resolution cites a long list of Kyle’s accomplishments in the Navy, including saving the lives of scores of Marines; personally rescuing two Marines and two reporters during a 2004 firefight in Fallujah; and making a documented shot of 1.2 miles, or 2,100 yards, in suburban Baghdad to neutralize an insurgent who was about to launch a rocket-propelled grenade at an Army convoy.
The citation extols Kyle’s coolness in a firefight, and willingness to do anything necessary to protect the soldiers he was assigned to cover. It counts his two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars as testament to his gallantry. References are made to his nicknames, “The Legend” and “The Devil of Ramadi,” as well as bounties placed on his head by enemy forces, totaling $80,000.
Also discussed in the resolution is Kyle’s authorship of the best-selling book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, and how its Clint Eastwood-directed film adaptation was a massive box office hit, with multiple Academy Award nominations.
In February 2013, Kyle was shot and killed in Erath County while attempting to help a former Marine work through post-traumatic stress disorder. Following a 200 mile funeral procession, he was buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
The measure to honor Kyle with the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor must pass the House, a Senate committee, and then the full Senate, before it can be signed by Governor Abbott. Breitbart Texas will attend the awards ceremony.