American Sniper: Vets Call Bill To Give Chris Kyle The Medal Of Honor A ‘Political Stunt’
Chris Kyle, the inspiration behind the novel and blockbuster film American Sniper, has been hailed as one of the bravest military heroes of all time. So, when Texas congressman Rep. Roger Williams introduced a bill to award the Medal of Honor to the former Navy SEAL posthumously, he thought that he would have the support from Kyle’s fellow veterans. However, that is not the case, and the vets are criticizing the bill, calling it a “political stunt.”
“Chris gave the ultimate sacrifice and served his nation with distinction and bravery while saving countless American lives,” Williams said in his statement, according to USA Today.
“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.”
Retired Army Sgt. First Class Jonn Lilyea, who founded the military blog This Ain’t Hell, doesn’t think Kyle should receive the honor, although he is worthy of it, simply because he has become well known within the media. Lilyea explained that Kyle wasn’t considered for the honor while he was in the Navy and is already highly decorated for his service in combat.
“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.
It seems to me to be a political stunt. There was no effort to get him the award while he was alive, before there was a book, before there was a movie. I’m not saying that he doesn’t deserve the award, but I’m thinking that he would be the first to disabuse folks of the notion.”
Rep. Williams will continue to stand behind his bill.
“Congressman Williams has said he felt it was best to introduce his bill after the murder trial. He believes Chris Kyle demonstrated bravery and committed acts of valor when he saved many American lives during his four tours in Iraq, and it is the congressman’s intention for specific events to be reviewed during the consideration process,” a spokesperson for Williams said in a statement. “There is precedent for Congress to recommend someone for the Medal of Honor by way of legislation and recommending Chris Kyle for the Medal of Honor is what Congressman Williams is doing.”
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