Last Wednesday (February 13), Congressman Randy Neugebauer and other representatives from Texas honored Chris Kyle in an hour long Special Order. The congressmen and women spoke warmly of Chris' career, patriotism, service to others, impact, and family. The mood in my house was still somber - we'd buried Chris the day before and had only arrived back in North Carolina some 16 hours earlier. We sat on the couch, watching and listening the politicans memorialize Chris, still slightly numb from the past week. Then, one of the congressmen called Chris an "example by which we should all base our behavior" (or something to that effect). My husband and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. If Chris would have thought any of this was funny, it would have been that moment. Don't get me wrong - Chris was all of the impressive things he's been described as in the past few weeks. He was a hero. But if you knew him, you also know he was completely capable of being up to no good. He was, as Team Guys say, a pipe hitter. When I pictured the masses basing their behavior off of some of the rowdier stories I'd heard or eyewitnessed, it was a much needed moment of comic relief.
I was disappointed that more members of Congress did not choose to attend the Special Order. I realize they are busy and I am the first to point out the grave state of affairs we, as a nation, find ourselves in. One can hope they were off attending to the many issues requiring their attention. Still, it would have been nice to see a good showing of politicians who wished to pay their respects. In my last post, I wrote about the thousands of members of the public who have gone out of their way to make such displays. But then again, I do believe one of the biggest problems we face is that our politicians often don't truly represent their constituents. I guess it's to be expected.
If you would like to watch the Special Order, it can be viewed on CSPAN2's video archive.
During the Special Order, Rep. Neugebauer read excerpts from emails and messages he received from Chris' friends and former coworkers. We penned my husband's on the flight home from Austin. Here it is:
Of what are legends forged?
Are legends born of a practiced skill or cold lethality?
Are they bred by tests of physical strength, overcome and surmounted?
Do they exist because of records broken, distances, or kills?
Is a legend made of a number in the desert, a tally kept neatly on a paper 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 willingly and generously shed 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 the 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 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.