A Texas congressman wants the nation to recognize Chris Kyle, the late Navy SEAL who inspired the hit movie "American Sniper," one more time. Republican Rep. Roger Williams introduced Thursday the Chris Kyle Medal of Honor Act to encourage and authorize the president to give the veteran the award posthumously.
“Chris gave the ultimate sacrifice and served his nation with distinction and bravery while saving countless American lives,” Williams said in a news release. “There is no doubt that this true American hero is worthy of our nation’s highest military honor."
Kyle, widely known for having the most confirmed kills in U.S. military history, served four tours in Iraq between 2003 and 2009. His best-selling autobiography, "American Sniper," was released in 2012, and its Oscar-nominated, Clint Eastwood-directed 2014 film adaptation was recently named the highest-grossing war movie in U.S. history.
Williams' bill aims to pay tribute to the man behind it all. The Medal of Honor is awarded to military personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty to an extraordinary degree. Since 1863, American presidents have presented about 3,500 medals. More than half of them since World War II have been given posthumously to soldiers' families, according to Stars and Stripes.
"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,” Williams said.
Kyle died in Texas in February 2013 after being shot by 27-year-old veteran Eddie Ray Routh, whom Kyle and a friend, Chad Littlefield, were trying to help work through post-traumatic stress disorder. A jury found Routh guilty of capital murder in both killings Tuesday, and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.