Remembering the Moral Integrity of Chris Kyle

ChrisKylePrior to the untimely death of Chris Kyle, all I knew about the former Navy SEAL was what I learned from a single appearance he made on The O’Reilly Factor when he was promoting his book, American Sniper, several months ago. I never read the book, and I never saw another interview with him.

So on February 3rd, when reports of his murder first began hitting the wires, I couldn’t quite explain why I took the news as hard as I did. The tragedy weighed heavily on my mind for days. I found myself researching everything I could about Kyle’s life, including his military career and his dedication to helping struggling veterans. When Ron Paul tastelessly mocked Kyle’s death on Twitter, I was not only offended by the former presidential candidate’s words, but also found myself taking the words personal. It felt more as if it was a friend or family member that had lost their life, than it did some stranger who I’d never met.

It wasn’t just that the story was heartbreaking. I hear and read of heartbreaking stories all the time. Chris Kyle’s death was different, and I had to watch his interview with O’Reilly again to be reminded of why…

What struck me about Chris Kyle wasn’t just his record number of sniper kills, all the medals he won, or his four deployments to Iraq. It wasn’t just his numerous brushes with death, the intrigue behind Iraqi insurgents placing an $20,000 bounty on his head, or even his humorous retelling of a physical altercation he had with Jesse Ventura.

What struck me about Chris Kyle was his unwavering belief in the nobility and morality of the service he provided to this country. In a role that many people these days would probably find cold and heartless, Kyle was incredibly at ease with the duties he performed and found nothing but pride in the fact that his actions protected his fellow Americans.

“It’s not a problem taking out someone who wants your people dead,” Kyle told O’Reilly. “It’s not a problem at all.”

When asked by O’Reilly if he had any regrets for all of the human beings that he had killed, Kyle explained that his only regrets were the enemy’s victims who he wasn’t able to save.

It was a fascinating perspective on the Iraq war and military engagement in general. It was also disheartening, in a way, to listen to what he was saying and think about all of the people who surely took deep offense to the words that came out of mouth. Some of those people even celebrated Kyle’s death across social media shortly after the story broke. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by such a reaction. After all, in today’s society, we’re increasingly conditioned to view the world through a prism of moral relativism. We’re supposed to put ourselves in the shoes of our sworn enemies, identify with their motivations, self-deprecate, and think about what we can do to make them hate us less. We’re not supposed to feel good about getting them before they get us.

Fortunately, Kyle didn’t see things that way… and he wasn’t afraid to say it. There was no question in his mind of who was right and who was wrong. He lived his life with moral clarity, both in his service to our country and his love and selflessness for his fellow Americans. I found that not only refreshing, but highly admirable.

Unfortunately, it was that love and selflessness that put him in the company of Eddie Ray Routh – a fellow veteran reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who Kyle was trying to help, like he did so many others. In taking Kyle’s life, Routh needlessly deprived this country of a true American hero – one who deserves our endless gratitude and remembrance.

On Tuesday, Chris Kyle will be laid to rest, and he’ll certainly be missed – probably by more people than he could have imagined. What I hope isn’t laid to rest with him is his genuine belief in a moral goodness of America that transcends shallow political-correctness and collective self-righteousness.

We need more people of Chris Kyle’s moral integrity.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • http://twitter.com/StormRider047 Adeola Tobi Ola™

    Chris Kyle is a true legend. Second only to this man >>>> http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Ryan
    Now I’m picking up that book.

  • Joe Davis

    The last time bringing the fight to our enemy was honorable…was in 1945. If you take our boys and treasure to point guns at shepherds, farmers, mothers, and children…you are not defending me, our democracy, or the country that I love. Imagine yourself and your entire family in Quandahar, trying to keep everyone safe and alive until this nightmare is over. Then we can talk about what makes a hero.

  • Kansan

    He killed over a hundred people who did not make war on the U.S., but upon whom we made war.

    That wasn’t his call. It was Bush/Cheney and their need to cover up their incredible malfeasance that allowed 9/11 to occur.

    But he took a guy who was deranged to the range and gave him a gun.

    Now that’s a testament to his judgment, or lack of same.

  • wally12

    Amen! May he rest in peace and I hope his family our blessings, comfort, peace and our thanks. We all will miss this great patriot.

  • Adam c

    R.i.p cris Kyle

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.murphy.7564 Jim Murphy

    You know…I love bikes and I love my Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. I was surfing the web and looked on the Hells Angels web site just out of curiosity. I found a news story about Ralph “Sonny” Burger The figurehead of the club. I looked at those comments about that story the same as this…Not ONE person had anything but praise for that man, NOT ONE. I have nothing against Sonny but I find it pathetic and sad that all I find regarding Chris Kyle is negative. This country is in such a state when we feel that an Ex con is more valuable than a Navy SEAL saving countless lives overseas. Pathetic…ALL OF YOU.

  • savagenation

    ” his humorous retelling of a physical altercation he had with Jesse Ventura.”

    You mean the story he and Murdoch’s company are being sued for Libel/Slander over?

    Why did no one in the media or Military point out how tasteless it was for a member of the Militaryto brag about assaulting another member of the Military, true or not? Is it SOP for members of the branches to beat up on each other and brag about it to the media then use it to sell books?

    Shame

    • John Daly

      Tasteless? We’re talking about Jesse “9/11 was an inside job” Ventura, right? Ventura was punched because he was telling his fellow SEALs that some of them deserved to lose their lives. Who wouldn’t have wanted to take a swing at him?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/RQZSCQR2ZG2EXP4RNNHVOAITJA peterk

        I liked Kyle and don’t care for Jesse, but that story was fishy and you miss the point because you act as though it happened. But was more in the line of a couple 7th grade girls gossip. Your talking about believing anything now I think you like jesse . Where’s your logic? You just wrote a story about Kyle saying how little you know about him , but the unfortunate death might reinforce your belief of that alleged incident. John I hope you are passed up when it comes to jury duty. Kyle went out of his way to say that crap and you bought it. Its known that there are many that want to NOT JUST TEASE JESSE ABOUT THE SILLY STUFF but act as silly trying to smear someone like Jesse when he’s falling on his own. “He was telling …,.deserve to die” That is just the opposite of a person like Jesse. Some people that say harsh things about Kyle that we all know of, is partly because that silly story that KYLE would not stop and looked like a little kid not able to hold a straight face. You don’t need to look in to this as fact, wake up it was a literal hood wink

  • Wheels55

    I read American Sniper. It is an interesting read for what a modern day soldier goes through, for what a SEAL goes through and what this man had to face on the battlefield and at home. He was a true patriot that loved his country. He was constantly torn between continuing to serve his country as a SEAL and being at home. He was lucky – he returned home and found peace with it all. This tragic event was while he was helping another and caused him to leave a loving wife and kids.
    Read the book before you judge.
    If you are one of those who say such vile things like good riddance or live by the sword crap, you do not deserve to live in this free country where others die for you rights.

    • TrueTalkNaija

      So you think every war this government starts is just?

  • Ridley

    Kyle lied about Ventura to sell books, very lowlife thing to do. Especially to lie about another Seal. Real heroes don’t flaunt what they do.

    • John Daly

      Why do you believe Ventura and not Kyle? Is it due to all of that reputability Ventura built up with his 9/11 truther crusade?

      • savagenation

        You’ve seen the size of this kid and how big Jesse is?
        Uh, Jesse would have easily laid this guy out.

        • John Daly

          Read Kyle’s account of it, then tell me if you find it even remotely hard to believe.

      • Hose A

        “…Why do you believe Ventura and not Kyle?…”

        Several people corroborate that the incident never happened and apparently Kyle sought to settle out of court. Doesn’t exactly scream legitimacy. Neither does the fact that this guy had a book to sell.

  • Annie Pickett

    Thank you, and I hope all recognize your written tribute to a true American Hero. We are a better Nation having defenders such as Chris Kyle; we are all certainly less now, none more so than his wife and children. Heaven has another Star…right beside Lee and Job…

  • photo_vz

    People who support the military actions and what men like Chris Kyle did cannot claim to be Christians. War supporters and soldiers who willingly signed up to go kill might as well call themselves atheists or satanists. Killing 160+ and reveling in it and saying you hoped to kill more of them has nothing to do with Christianity. Imagine if you could have a conversation with Jesus today and what would he say about your actions. These people are sick in the head.

    • John Daly

      Thank you, anonymous one, for proclaiming what makes people Christians and what doesn’t. I’m sure God appreciates you casting such judgement.

      • photo_vz

        Hey I know enough to know that lust for killing and glorifying it does most certainly not make one a Christian

        • John Daly

          A lust for killing, or a lust for defending other people from being killed? Regardless, only one person is qualified to decide who’s a Christian and who isn’t. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t use your internet alias.

          • photo_vz

            Many Nazis wrapped much of what they did in a cloak of Christianity. Are you willing to call them ‘Christian’? One of the major failings of Christianity is that it is too inclusive. You want to be a Christian? You need to live it and earn it to be included. If you want some kind of forgiveness that’s between you and God. Dont expect other Christians to endorse your deviance.

          • John Daly

            Why is the anti-war crowd so obsessed with comparing our soldiers to Nazis? You guys have go to find some original material.

            I don’t know what you believe, but my Christian faith teaches me not to judge the purity of other people’s Christian beliefs. That’s God’s job. No one else’s.

            I do have to wonder what God would think about Christians who complain that their religion is “too inclusive.” But again, I won’t judge you for that.

            Oh, and another thing… I don’t need your ‘endorsement’. It’s meaningless to who I am as a person. I’m quite comfortable in my relationship with God.

      • Hose A

        You’re right. Given what a ridiculous, self-contradictory, senseless pile of mistranslated nonsense the Bible is (take your pick as to which is the “correct” Bible), anyone can claim anything about what being a so-called “Christian” means and be just as right as anyone else.

    • Aggie16

      Several times in the bible God not only tells people to go to war but to destroy all men, women, children, and livestock (many times in 1 Samuel) He didn’t tell them to do this just for fun, but because it had to be done.

    • savagenation

      It does warn against that:
      Proverbs 24
      17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
      18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him

      So you either Believe and obey what the Bible teaches, or else.

  • wad

    what kind of moral integrity does a killer have?

    • wad

      live by the sword, die by the sword. Good riddance

      • wad

        160 confirmed kills. I would call him a mass murderer. You fuckers call him a hero

        • wadIsTrash

          Go die in a ditch. What have you ever done for another person, let alone your own country? Easy to hide behind a screen. You’re pathetic and alone, stay that way. Stay off the internet, loser.

        • John Daly

          Thanks for making my point about moral relativism, kiddo.

        • Wheels55

          Kyle did some very heroic things as a soldier. More heroic than you sitting on your butt calling a dead man names.