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April 01, 2020 7 min read

Who Is Chris Kyle the American Hero?

U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle is most famously known for his bestselling autobiography,American Sniper, which became a blockbuster movie in 2014. The film starred Bradley Cooper and was directed by Clint Eastwood. Butwho is Chris Kyle, and why is he considered anAmerican hero? Here’s everything you need to know about the marksman, including his background, military service, and what happened to him.

Who isAmerican Sniper?

The story of the renownedfreedom fighter begins in his childhood. So, where is Chris Kyle from? Christopher Scott Kyle was born in 1974 in Odessa, Texas, where he and his younger brother grew up raising cattle. At the age of 8, his dad got him his first rifle, a bolt-action .30-06 Springfield. Kyle and his brother learned to fire a gun at a young age on family hunting excursions, where they shot deer and pheasants. This early experience shooting in Texas would one day lead to the hero American sniper Chris Kyle that we all know. 

Upon graduating high school in 1992, Kyle briefly rode rodeo broncos. He was forced to quit due to a serious arm injury, which resulted in pins being inserted into his bones. After that, he studied Range and Ranch Management for two years at Tarleton State University, which aligned with his cattle ranch upbringing. At this point, he wasn't considering joining the Navy or the Marines. 

Chris Kyle’s Military Career 

A few years after his college graduation, Kyle began to seriously think about becoming a Marine.  However, assessing his six-foot-two athletic frame, a recruiter for the Navy persuaded him to considerjoining the SEALs instead. Since he still had pins in his arm, he was initially turned away. But in 1999, Kyle was finally invited to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training. The 24-week boot camp was held in California, where he met his wife, Taya. 

In 2001, Kyle graduated with the SEALS of BUD/S Class 233 and was assigned to Team 3 of the Special Ops Task Force. With national pride and adrive to protect his country, which he believed to be the greatest in the world, the marksman felt it was his duty to defend the freedom of Americans. He went to great lengths to safeguard his fellow SEALS and civilians back home.

Kyle ended up servingfour tours of duty in Iraq, for which he was praised for his heroic service. He received various military awards, including a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, a Silver Star, and four Bronze Stars with “V” devices, which signify valor in combat. Fighting in the Iraq war gave Kyle the opportunity to hone his skills as a lethal sniper for the Navy Seal team. Kyle wanted to serve his country to the best of his abilities and eventually became one the deadliest sniper in American history. 

How Many Kills Did Chris Kyle Have?

With 255 kills during his military career, Kyle is considered to be the deadliest sniper in American history. The Pentagon confirmed 160 of his kills, which surpassed the previous record of 109. In 2008, he carried out hislongest sniper shot outside Sadr City in Iraq using a McMillan TAC-338 rifle, roughly 2,100 yards away from his target. 

While using his rifle, the Navy SEAL sniper was able to quickly calculate the speed of a bullet and the distance of a target along with the impact of the wind and various other environmental factors. Kyle was exceptionally fast and precise, even under immense pressure. His skill was unmatched in the Navy, which earned him the respect of his peers and superiors. Throughout the war, Kyle killed many with the focus on carrying out the Navy's mission for the American people. 

Kyle pushed the envelope of what was previously thought possible, setting military records and establishing his legacy. Among Marines and Navy SEALS, he’s known as “the Legend.” Not only was he a highly skilled and renowned marksman, but Kyle also survived two gunshot wounds and six IED (improvised explosive device) bombs during his time in Iraq. His story as the deadliest sniper is legendary and will forever be part of the Navy Seal legacy. 

What Happened to Chris Kyle?

Kyle was both a fierce fighter and a loving, gentle family man. In 2009, after nearly a decade of service, he was honorably discharged from the United States Navy. He resumed life with his wife,Taya Kyle, and two children in the Dallas suburb of Midlothian, Texas. After life resumed, what happened to Chris Kyle?

In Texas, he worked as the president of Craft International, an organization that trained members of the military and law enforcement. Kyle was known to be a patient teacher during his time at Craft International, as well as in the Navy.

In 2012, Kyle published his autobiography, which bluntly recounted his time as a sniper. The book was aNew York TimesBestseller for 37 consecutive weeks. In the movie adaptation ofAmerican Sniper, Kyle was portrayed by Bradley Cooper. Although he was a bestselling author and an American hero, he remained humble, claiming he was “just a regular guy.”

While home in Texas, Kyle also started working with military veterans, including Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine with PTSD. Kyle could identify with soldiers who had experienced post traumatic stress and wanted to help them. On February 2, 2013, Kyle went with Routh and a friend, Chad Littlefield, to the Rough Creek Lodge & Resort shooting range in Glen Rose, Texas. During the outing, he and Littlefield passed away from a tragic incident in which both were fatally shot by Routh at the gun range. Kyle was 38 years old.

Nine days later, Kyle’s memorial service was held at Cowboys Stadium, which honored the sniper’s lifelong fandom of the Dallas NFL team. The next day, a funeral service was held in Austin, Texas. The procession was a sight to be seen, stretching over 200 miles with thousands of people paying tribute to the war hero.

The day Kyle and Littlefield were shot, Eddie Ray Routh confessed to his sister, who then alerted the police. In 2015, he was found guilty of the murders after a jury deliberated for less than three hours. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Chris Kyle FrogFoundation

To honor Kyle’s legacy, hiswife founded theChris Kyle Frog Foundation (CKFF) in 2015. The nonprofit organization strives to revive distraught military and first responder communities across the U.S. by supporting families. CKFF accomplishes this by providing a network of resources and evidence-based programming. Programs offered by the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation include Date Night Out, Empowered Spouses Retreat, Mastering Your Marriage, and Revitalization Retreat.

Date Night Out:CKFF’sDate Night Out provides military couples with the opportunity to get out and connect with each other by offering fun events and childcare coordination. The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation seeks to help couples restore their connection without worrying about their children during date night. 

Empowered Spouses Retreat:TheEmpowered Spouses Retreat is a weekend-long event offered to services spouses. Set in nature, it allows spouses to relax, bond with one another, and try new activities.

Mastering Your Marriage:Taking a unique approach to couples coaching,Mastering Your Marriage provides military members and their spouses with empowering tools and exercises to rethink their marriages and help them thrive.

Revitalization Retreat: Inspired by Chris and Taya Kyle’s marriage, CKFF’sRevitalization Retreat is a weekend getaway for military couples that encourages them to rewind, recharge, and connect. Each couple meets with a licensed counselor twice before the retreat and up to three times after, which is intended to help them identify obstacles within the relationship and, ultimately, build a stronger partnership.

These programs have successfully strengthened numerous couples and families, making them more equipped to take on life’s challenges. As a result, the communities in which military members live and first responders serve are more resilient and connected. In addition to programming and events, theChris Kyle Frog Foundation offersgrants to other charities and nonprofit organizations that align with CKFF’s mission.

Threads Inspired by the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation

Kyle is one of the most well-known and impactful servicemen in history. His legacy will continue to make an impact on the U.S. military and stateside communities for generations. At Affliction, we’re moved by his compelling story, as well as the dedication of his wife and the team at CKFF. We’re proud to honor the American hero’s legacy with ourChris Kyle Frog Foundation collection. Kyle will always be a critical part of military history and Iraq War history. 

Browse the line to find a wide range of pieces inspired by Kyle’s military service and CKFF’s invaluable community work. The collection includes high-quality threads for both men and women with all-American designs that pay tribute to the patriot.

Men’s Chris Kyle from Affliction

Ourmen’s Chris Kyle collection gives the late war hero the recognition he deserves (although we would welcome a Chris Kyle day). Find short-sleeve tees with graphics inspired by his bravery and assertion during his military career. Each distinct piece celebrates Kyle’s unmatched determination and drive as a Navy Seal member. 

Women’s Chris Kyle from Affliction

Thewomen’s Chris Kyle line from Affliction includes short-sleeve tees featuring embellished lettering and imagery that nod to the sniper’s courage and influence. Each piece has a flattering cut and is made with quality materials. These pieces were all designed to honor Navy Seal Chris Kyle and America with patriotic themes and inspiring messaging as well as graphics. 

AtAffliction, we take inspiration from people like Kyle who push life’s limits to create clothing you can’t find anywhere else. His story is both courageous and empowering. By embracing our afflictions, we acknowledge the pain, agony, and discipline required to achieve greatness. Our CFKK collection includeswomens Chris Kyleandmens Chris Kyle inspired apparel. Our collection shares embellished patriotic messaging and images to pay tribute to this American military hero. 

As trailblazers in the world of alternative fashion, we’re all about changing the game by living fast and not backing down from obstacles. This rule-breaking, persevering mentality is represented in our innovative collections. When you shop for shirts, outerwear, denim, and accessories, you’ll discoveredgy pieces with daring designs. 

If you’re ready to break from the pack and lean into your afflictions, browse our Chris Kyle Frog Foundation line today.

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