On Thursday, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) introduced a bill that would call on the President to honor “American Sniper” Chris Kyle posthumously with the Medal of Honor.
From the Washington Post:
“Chris gave the ultimate sacrifice and served his nation with distinction and bravery while saving countless American lives,” said Williams. “There is no doubt that this true American hero is worthy of our nation’s highest military honor. While the Medal of Honor will not bring back a husband, father, son and a model Texan, we owe Chris Kyle and his family a great deal of gratitude for his relentless devotion to his country.”
Kyle already is highly decorated for his heroism in combat. He received two prestigious Silver Stars, which are two levels below the Medal of Honor, and five Bronze Stars with V device for valor. Kyle left the military in 2009, and released his memoir “American Sniper” in January 2012.
Williams, whose district includes part of the county where Kyle was killed, said in a news release that on a number of occasions, legislation has been introduced to waive restrictions and encourage the president to award the Medal of Honor.
This type of waiver wouldn’t be unprecedented, but it is rare—which means that the move by Rep. Williams is causing a hailstorm of controversy not over Kyle’s record, but over whether or not the Medal of Honor is the appropriate award to honor Kyle and his family for his service both during and after his time in the military. Some say that this move is being fast tracked because of Kyle’s sudden “American Sniper”-fueled popularity, and not by his service overseas.
On “Fox and Friends” this week, vets Howard Wasdin and Carl Higbie explained both sides of the debate. Watch:
Blogger John Lilya agrees with Higbie:
There is no one who is more defensive of Chris Kyle’s legacy than me. I read his book in one sitting the day that it hit my Kindle – the day it was released. I’ve read it twice since then. I was probably the first blogger who knew about his death, but since I couldn’t get get confirmation I held off, if nothing else, out of respect for his family.
Chris Kyle certainly accomplished much more during his career in the military than I did, by comparison, he certainly deserves the Medal of Honor. But, the thing is that he was never considered for the award while he was in the Navy.
Kyle already is highly decorated for his heroism in combat. He received two prestigious Silver Stars, which are two levels below the Medal of Honor, and five Bronze Stars with V device for valor.
There are hundreds of members of the military whose martial biographies are similar, but they don’t have a best selling book and a blockbuster movie, and I get the feeling that is the only reason that Williams is going through all of this because of Kyle’s name recognition. The Routh trial and the success of the movie about Kyle are intersecting at the Medal of Honor.
I’ll leave the debate to the veterans; I’ve never served, and I can’t pretend to understand the deep importance and emotion associated with the kind of awards that men like Chris Kyle earn. All I’ll say is that there’s a lot more to this debate than how we as Americans feel about Chris, his service, and his legacy, and those who choose to enter the conversation should remember that before dragging Kyle’s legacy through another national debate.DONATE
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