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@Virginstateofmind  I guess the difference between your thought process and mine is I believe Americans ARE better.  We're the ONLY country conceived and born out of the desire to do and be better than ever before in human history.  I guess I have a big ol' American ego.  God Bless.

1 year, 6 months ago on The Fear of IEDs in America!

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@Virginstateofmind Hmm...I'm not sure I'm in sync with that thought process.  Horrific things happen all over the world every day, most caused by corrupt, oppressive governments.  Unlike natural disasters, I feel as an American, our warriors fight and die every day to keep said horrors beyond our soil.  As Americans, we are more free, more safe, more sane.  It's who we are.  Therefore, when these horrors DO make it here, I (like many other Americans) am shocked and alarmed.  And I should be.  America is already being seduced into a culture of death.  I pray we never become so anesthetized to it that the terror other nations live with on a daily basis becomes laissez-faire here.  

1 year, 6 months ago on The Fear of IEDs in America!

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Thank You!  This is exactly what I needed to read.  One fears what he or she doesn't understand.  That's me and an IED. This really helped give me a frame of reference.  Great article.  Still makes me super pissed what happened in Boston, especially since taxpayers were funding the bombers and their families through government aid, but at least now I understand the real threat of IEDs in America better.  Thanks again.

1 year, 6 months ago on The Fear of IEDs in America!

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Sorry about the horrible spacing.  It did that when I posted.  

1 year, 7 months ago on A Navy SEAL Sniper is Laid to Rest: Dark Times & The Light of Texas

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Just got this from MoveAmericaForward.org: 

 

 Debbie Remembers Chris Kyle: American Sniper

 

 Chris Kyle 

April 8, 1974 - Feb 2, 2013

 

Chris Kyle, "The Legend" as his teammates nicknamed him, was tragically taken from us on Feb 2, 2013. Chris was the author of American Sniper and was the most lethal sniper in US Military History. As a Navy SEAL Chris was awarded numerous medals including two Silver Stars, and five Bronze Stars with Valor. I was blessed to not only know the warrior Chris was but to experience the complete package of a man balanced with selfless love, compassion and generosity.

 

Chris is survived by his wife and two children who he deeply loved and cherished.

 

Along with Chris at the Texas shooting range on February 2, 2013, close friend Chad Littlefield was also murdered and leaves behind a wife and a daughter.

 

Chris and I began to communicate after the death of my son Marc Alan Lee. I would receive emails and phone calls while Chris was still deployed. I realized that these men who served with Marc were his "brothers" and I adopted/inherited many new "sons." Chris took that role seriously and we became very close, we really were family. So when I received the call that Chris had been killed I was devastated and in shock. I caught the next flight to Texas to be with his family. I have dedicated my life since Marc's death to the troops and especially the families of the fallen. I have been there for too many families who have lost a loved one in combat or related to combat, but this was different. Chris was as close to a son as you could be without birthing them or raising them. Grief was all too familiar and I did not like this. 

 

Within hours we began to see an amazing out pouring from the patriots in Texas who were deeply moved and had been impacted by Chris. It is still so hard to accept that Chris is no longer with us. I was so blessed to have known Chris and be embraced by him as his "Momma Lee." 

 

We had about 12,000 to 15,000 attend the services at Cowboy Stadium. The following day the funeral procession traveled 200 miles to bury Chris in Austin at Texas Memorial Cemetery.

 

 

 

We gathered at the Stadium at Midlothian High and were greeted by the Patriot Guard Riders. These riders are life savers, if it wouldn't have been for them at Marc's Memorial Service I would have been arrested for the confrontation that might have ensued when the Westboro wacko's told me "I had failed my son and I sent him to hell" and that "He choose an occupation of murder." Because they attended and sheltered me I didn't see or hear the vile protestor's. They ride for every fallen hero to honor and defend them. One of Marc and Chris' Officers and I got off the bus in the pouring rain to present Challenge Coins to their President and shake the hands of each of those who rode. The funeral processions were led by about 80 riders and then were joined in Waco by about 800 more.

 

As we left Midlothian people were gathered on the overpasses to honor Chris and show their support. I was amazed as we continued to drive 5 miles away, and yet still people were standing on every single overpass, 25 miles and still every single overpass had people waving flags, saluting, some with signs "RIP Chris Kyle," "Thanks you Chris, you will not be forgotten." This was done in the pouring rain and many of them where there hours before when our advanced team and color guard drove by. Even though I was exhausted and had slept very little the past week, I knew I had to stay awake to see how many miles we would travel before there was an empty overpass. 150 miles.....still every overpass. Many had fire trucks and emergency vehicles, and it wasn't just the overpass, the sides of the freeway had people standing on the shoulder in front of their business, school children stood with hands over their hearts, some people knelt as we went by, many had tears streaming down their cheeks.

 

As we passed through many of the major cities people were on all three levels of freeways as they laced over the interstate. I remember my heart sinking a little in disappointment as we neared an overpass and no one was there, then as we got closer I saw it was under construction and you couldn't get up there. We traveled 200 miles and EVERY overpass had people paying their respects and honoring Chris. I had never seen anything like this in my life.

 

Chris hated the spotlight, he was uncomfortable doing book signings, taking pictures, and visiting with people. That wasn't why he wrote American Sniper, he wrote it to honor Marc, Ryan and his teammates. He wanted to give the average American a glimpse into what our troops and their families endure and sacrifice. He gave away all of the proceeds to the book. He wrote the book to challenge people that when they come home our responsibility is "to serve those who served us." 

 

After Chris and I had been at book signings or in a group of people where he couldn't walk five feet without someone stopping him for a hand shake or autograph, he would say "I hate this part, I am not a people person". Yet if you stopped him even if there was a line a mile long behind you, he would have made you feel that you were the only one and it was sincere. As we drove that 200 miles and I saw all of those people I couldn't help but think, yes son, you are a people person. People all over the world love you.

 

Chris is buried at an amazing, historic cemetery, and the private burial ceremony attended by family, close friends and teammates will forever be etched in my heart. The cemetery was surrounded three deep on the outside perimeter by the PGR riders and their flags along with who knows how many other patriots.

 

I stood directly across from the SEALS in formation. My oldest son was on my right and Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton on my left, and Chris' casket between the SEALS and I. In front of the casket set Chris family. It was all I could do to not break down when the folded flag was given to Taya, and Chris Mother.

 

Following SEAL tradition, at the end of Chris'  funeral each SEAL removed his Trident and solemnly  walked to the casket, and then placed his Trident on Chris' casket and with one slam of the fist pounded it in to the casket. It left me speechless and in tears, as it has each time I have witnessed  these brave warriors saying goodbye to one their brothers. Each SEAL then returned to formation and bagpipers played  "Amazing Grace." The SEALs all then gathered around the casket and knelt. If they could reach the casket they place their hand on it, if not they placed their hand on the shoulder of the SEAL in front of them and bowed their heads.

 

 

 

When the bagpipers stopped in deep voices of the Brotherhood, they yelled "HOOYAH, CHRIS KYLE!"

 

Forever Grateful,

Debbie Lee

1 year, 7 months ago on A Navy SEAL Sniper is Laid to Rest: Dark Times & The Light of Texas

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Loved reading this, Mr. Kelley.  Thank you.  I am a relatively new Texan, and I was blinded by the light this state shined over the entire process of honoring, interring and remembering Chris Kyle.  Having relocated from what has become a very depressing place, hope exploded inside of me as I not only witnessed but took part in this emotional process.  I will never forget what happened here.  I pray more folks stop and think than ever before.  Instead of moving on, maybe we will lend a helping hand with our time, treasure and talent to our returning warriors.  We can only lead by example, and I intend to do so.  Thanks again.

1 year, 8 months ago on A Navy SEAL Sniper is Laid to Rest: Dark Times & The Light of Texas

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I just got back.  Long drive and emotionally spent.  Can't stop thinking about so many moments of the intense day.  I have never wanted to jump up and cheer at a funeral before, but Eric made a lot of people want to do just that.  His speech was absolute passion and perfection.  "His heart is what made him a legend."  There were so many tragic and beautiful aspects to this memorial service, and I had not ever personally attended something on this scale (many times on tv), but nothing even comes close to Taya choking her way through her words.  When she was up on the stage speaking, Chris Kyle was one thing: a man that was deeply loved by his mate.  Period.  Her grief was so palpable, it was difficult to breathe just watching her.  THAT is what I can't shake.  THAT is the part to which I can relate.  I don't know what it's like to be a military wife or the wife of a cowboy, but I do know what it's like to be married to my best friend, to feel that when we married, he saved my life.  I can empathize about everything else, but THAT I choked down along with her.  Just when the pall bearers (BTW, don't know if that is a tradition, but I loved how they surrounded her closely as her protectors while she spoke) would step up to support her when she got very shaky at points, she would shake them off and steel herself.  She would reach deep, deep down and forge ahead.  She said Chris told her the body will do what the mind tells it to do, and she was counting on that to be a fact.  Chris Kyle was a hero on so many levels, and today his wife showed herself to be every bit as heroic as her mate.  The whole thing was stunning, and I feel very blessed to have been able to go, share it with my son and offer our support on some very small level.  Good Night and God Bless, Awesome SOFREP Peeps.

1 year, 8 months ago on Trying To Keep Perspective and Honor Chris

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I've made a decision.  As a 5th generation Californian, I've never been more proud of my state heritage than when thousands of us lined US101 to honor our 40th President as his casket was driven to the Reagan Library on 6-7-04.  For endless miles on that huge interstate, people simply pulled over and stopped their cars to show respect to our greatest patriot.  I remember all the cheers and tears, and it felt awesome to be a Californian and an American.  Those days though are long gone.  My home state is unrecognizable to me.  My family made a purposeful move to Texas where that level of state and national honor is alive and well.  I've been sitting here in a suburb of Austin thinking how proud I am to be a new Texan, to see how Chris Kyle's state is taking care of one of its own.  Dallas is 3.5-4 hours away with no traffic, my husband is out of town on business, and I have two young sons in school.  I was thinking it wouldn't work out to make the trip.  Well, ya know what?  That is total B.S.  I asked a friend to watch my little one, I'm pulling my 11-year old out of school, and we are driving our butts to Arlington tomorrow morning to be there on behalf of all those that cannot.  I've never been to a public memorial before, but I want my son to see something similar to what I experienced on that day in June so many years ago.  Americans.  Texans.  People making a really big deal about one man who couldn't deserve it more.  Can't wait to share this with my son.  God Bless, Y'All.

1 year, 8 months ago on Trying To Keep Perspective and Honor Chris

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Eric Davis, I have read a lot about Chris, but this just felt so "right".  Even with all the emotions and thoughts that have been pouring in, you're still left with, "What can I do?!?"  Your answers and suggestions are so helpful and will lead towards healing.  When we focus on others, we become better.  I think many of us here want to become better at supporting our military personnel and their families.  "Chris didn’t do what he did because he hated anything in front of him. He did what he did because so loved what was behind him."  I just keep reading it over and over and thanking God above for the years he gave this country Chris Kyle.  May we honor Him and him by always keeping watch over his friends and family.  Thank You!

1 year, 8 months ago on Trying To Keep Perspective and Honor Chris

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 @Tango9 Spit.  My.  Coffee.  :)

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @usapatriotonthemove Ugh.  Every word out of his mouth just galvanized my belief that he didn't do anything for his glory.  Nothing.  He pushes the need to help the military and their families and is so freaking humble.  If I didn't believe God has a seriously kick ass plan, I'd be yelling upstairs to ask Him, "Why THIS man?  Why THIS hero that America so obviously needs?!?"  The tears just keep coming, and I guess it means even though I never had the honor to make his personal acquaintance, I (like many others) connect with him and everything he stood for on a soul-deep level.  

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @dickftr I had insomnia last night and mistakenly glanced at the thread using my phone.  That bastard stunned me with his evil vitriol.  I haven't learned how to post from my phone, but I just wanted to tell you that what I saw you do last night, standing up for brothers, friends, heroes and their memories was totally awe inspiring.  You were seriously badass.  Thank You!

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @LauraKinCA  @SEAN SPOONTS Love that.  Thanks for allowing me to join in tonight.  It does make me feel better to know others feel the same way.  God Bless and Night, Y'All.

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @LauraKinCA  @southernbelle Sorry!  Digression is my middle name.  OK, that's a lie, but it should be.

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @LauraKinCA  @southernbelle That's cool, of course, but I guess I don't totally understand how wanting an interview for an upcoming book is maneuvering for political gain.  Am I naive?  OK, DO NOT answer that, Laura K!

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @southernbelle Well, I certainly didn't know enough details regarding _why_ he was so negative towards Rand to counter the opinion (Rand wanted an interview and Jack refused), but I cannot tell you enough how much I agree with your take.  Politics is a complex business, and even the best who line up with your goals and ideals have to play the game in D.C.  They're going to get messy making things happen.  As individuals and voters, each of us has to decide where the tipping point is.

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @southernbelle I stated something earlier today to Jack Murphy about how I like most of what I read and see about Rand.  He was all over me re: him being 100% about political gain.  Bummed me out.

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @InvictusGallusGladiator Choked me up.  Awesome testimony.  My grandpa was a Naval dentist at Pearl Harbor.  

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @LauraKinCA I read it down below after I posted.  Great Laura C minds think alike!

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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 @LauraKinCA  I'm late to the party, but you know I'm drinking the good stuff, since I got it from you.  Cheers, Chris and Chad!

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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Man, reading that actually makes me jealous.  I just moved to Texas and am only beginning to meet these awesome cowboys and everything they stand for.  In California, where I come from, they are long gone.  Sounds like those that were lucky enough to meet Chris were indeed lucky enough.  Forgive me for being jealous, but I truly feel I missed out on something special.  So glad God had his back and is enjoying his company now.  Cannot feel enough empathy for his family and friends though.  I'm so sorry for your pain.  Blessings all around.

1 year, 8 months ago on My Friend Chris Kyle: Modern Day Hero Lost

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I am so terribly sorry to hear this shocking news! Chris will have eternal peace and joy, but I ache for all his family, friends and fans that will miss him here on earth. God Bless, Y'All.

1 year, 9 months ago on Chris Kyle, Another Brother Lost

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I read a lot but haven't posted except once.  Please forgive the "meaning of life" question.  This man was the best America has to offer, husband, father, hero, etc.  So terribly heart wrenching.  My question is: how do we engage, battle or beat an enemy that places ZERO value on human or other life?  If so many of these zealots see suicide and murder as a high, holy goal, then WTF do we have to combat that?  Without simply removing these terrorists from the face of the earth with one fell swoop, how do we fight this type of enemy?  I have a feeling I just asked either the dumbest question in the world or the million dollar question.  Feel free to roll your eyes.  Thanks in advance for any insight. 

1 year, 10 months ago on Our Fallen Heroes: Darren LaBonte

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My husband and I recorded 46 names I had taken off the spreadsheet Laura K updated for us.  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this special project.  I am disillusioned this morning, but this was the one bright spot.  God Bless.

1 year, 11 months ago on Veterans Day Call To Action: SOF Heroes Project

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