What was Rep. Ron Paul thinking? As a combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, I read the news coverage surrounding Paul’s callous and inane comments about the death of a decorated Navy SEAL at the hands of another veteran with utter and complete disbelief.
I knew Chris Kyle. He was a friend and brother of mine.
What was Rep. Paul thinking?
Chris Kyle, a Navy veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who received no less than seven heroism awards by serving as a sniper in combat saving hundreds of American, Coalition and Iraqi lives, was murdered at a gun range in Texas on Saturday, and Rep. Paul said this via Tweeter on Tuesday:
“Chris Kyle’s death seems to confirm that ‘he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.’ Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn’t make sense.”
Implicit in this statement, it seems, is the point that it’s literally OK now to murder our nation’s vets. It would be deserved, just desserts for American combat veterans. What?!
I suppose this logic would also apply to law enforcement officers as well since they take on a similar role within our shores of trying to defend and protect our citizens. With the recent spate of gun violence, Rep. Paul can certainly now be accused of inspiring other mentally unstable people to attack war heroes.
Chris Kyle is a modern, American war hero.
He is credited with more than 150 kills as a sniper in combat serving watch for American and Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.
He enlisted and served in the Navy SEALS from 1999 to 2009. Two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals with a “V” for valor and heroism later, he gave up war and returned home to be with his wife and two small children in Texas and open a new chapter in his life.
The lives Chris took ensured many other American, European and other allied servicemen and women were able to return home to their families and loved ones. Sniper Chris Kyle was deeply feared by our enemies. He shot enemy snipers poised to kill our troops; he ambushed enemy militants laying in wait to ambush our forces; basically, he took 160 enemy lives and saved multiples on that number in terms of Americans who live today because of his skill and bravery.
Chris Kyle certainly didn’t deserve to die this way, and we can only wonder what demons this other man who shot him was battling. But let’s at the very least wait until the police finish investigating and the facts come out, as they unquestionably will, before jumping to ridiculous conclusions and commenting on what we don’t know, can’t yet understand, and should leave to the authorities to sort out first. Right?
Regardless, Rep. Paul’s tweet was insane and further demonstrates to the rest of the country what seems now obvious: Washington is the problem. Ron Paul is the problem. People going off half-cocked and treating veterans with contempt are the problem.
Chris Kyle is no longer with us. But we — his brothers and sisters in arms — we fellow Americans are very much alive. As recent combat veterans adjust to re-integrate after the war, some of us struggle to make sense of our experiences and newfound realities. But there is one constant.
We live each day for our fellow veterans and are tightly connected by our shared sacrifices. I have witnessed these sacrifices. While Chris Kyle is no longer here to defend himself, we are. And we are happy to ask Rep. Paul: “Sir, have you lost your mind?”
Rep. Paul should retract his ridiculous statement about what befell Chris Kyle and apologize to his memory, his family, his friends and we his brother and sister soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen. Rep. Paul, make this right, and do it today.
Dakota Meyer is a decorated U.S. Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a recipient of the nation’s highest heroism award, the Medal of Honor.