American sniper Chris Kyle’s parents prefer the privacy and solitude of their country home just outside of Fort Worth, Texas. However, they stepped out of their comfort zone for a rare public appearance to present Kellie Pickler with the first-ever Operation Troop Aid Chris Kyle Patriot Award.
“We are not celebrities and we don’t want to be. Most people don’t know who we are and we prefer it that way.”
People reports, the Kyles took the stage Saturday at the CMA Music Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, to honor Kelly and thank other members of the country music community who support out troops. Kellie was thrilled to receive the award, which she says isn’t about her, but is really “about Chris, his family, and every service member and veteran.”
“I am rarely at a loss for words but I am tonight. I am so blessed to have done the USO tours, and so honored to receive this award tonight.”
Kelly has been a dedicated supporter of the military through touring and performing for them. According to the Tennessean, she also has created T-shirts representing each branch of the armed forces and donates the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I like to say, ‘If you don’t wanna stand behind our military by all means stand in front.'”
Chris Kyle took after his parents when it came to public attention. He parents, Wayne and Deby, told People the decorated sniper “hated” his fame. But just as he sacrificed everything for his country, Wayne said Chris “did what he felt he needed to do to bring awareness for our troops,” even if it meant uncomfortable public appearances.
Just like their hero son, the Kyles were willing to do what they had to do when asked to stand up on stage Saturday night. They were proud to have the Operation Troop Aid Award renamed after their son. When the non-profit’s founder asked their permission to use his name, they said yes, knowing it would help draw support and awareness to the military.
“We have thousands of boots still on the ground. People don’t realize that. The key thing is to bring an awareness to our troops, they need our support, and that’s what Mark’s organization does.”
Wayne and Deby Kyle celebrated 45-years of marriage the same night they presented Kellie Pickler with the award that bears their son’s name. After all they’ve been through and all the good they quietly do, they don’t feel they’re much different from any other parents out there.
“We’re just common people lucky enough to have raised two wonderful sons. Chris became famous, but he’s our son and he’ll always be our son. That part of Chris Kyle is ours and always will be.”
[Image via Rick Diamond/Getty Images]