ARLINGTON — Thousands of people made the journey to Cowboys Stadium Monday to honor a person who lived to help others, Chris Kyle.
Kyle, 38, and his friend Chad Littlefield, 35, lost their lives on Feb. 2 trying to help a fellow veteran.
Friends, family members, brothers-in-arms and people of all ages traveled to the public memorial service to pay their final respects to Kyle, who lived by a a personal creed - “It is our duty to serve those who serve us.”
Members of the Patriot Guard showed support by ushering in American flags to watch over Kyle’s casket, which was placed on the 50-yard line.
A fellow Navy SEAL said Kyle’s big Texas heart guided him in making the decision to walk away from a promising career in the military.
“Through his faith in God he transformed himself from a battled hardened warrior to a friend, father and husband. Chris will live on in those who knew him. He was funny, bold and unconscionable,” the SEAL said. “He will silently watch over his family. Legends never die, and his spirit will live on forever.”
Kyle’s wife, Taya, addressed the crowd of about 7,000 mourners and spoke to the memory of the husband she will never see again.
“Chris – there is not enough time to tell you how much you mean to me. You have taught me how turn a life full of fear into a life full of faith. You taught me that I could forgive more deeply. You taught me that I am okay just the way I am,” Taya said, wiping back the tears. “You have shown me in life and in death that some people are always with you.”
Taya also took a moment to honor Littlefield and his family. She thanked Littlefield for the friendship he provided her husband and being there when Kyle needed it the most.
Bo French, who worked for Kyle at Craft International, said it was hard to take a warrior and transition him into an office environment. He was the kind of person who meant what he said and had a passion to serve others. Kyle did so by providing military and police training to helping veterans.
French thanked everyone for the letters and emails expressing sympathies over Kyle’s death. But before Kyle died, the Craft offices would receive thousands of thank you letters. Some of these letters were from the wives of Vietnam veteran who thanked Kyle for writing his book, “American Sniper.” This book helped them to understand their husband’s service in Southeast Asia.
Like many who knew former Navy SEAL, French said he is a better man because of the friendship he had with Kyle.
The service concluded with country singer Randy Travis singing “Amazing Grace,” which was followed a playing of TAPS.