tragedy we were blessed by so many people. Chris was (my son’s) teammate
through 10 years of training and battle. They both suffer/suffered from
PTSD to some extent and took great care of each other because of it. 2006
in Ramadi was horrible for young men that never had any more aggressive
physical contact with another human than on a Texas football field. They
lost many friends. Chris became the armed services number #1 sniper of
all time. Not something he was happy about other than the fact that in
doing so he saved a lot of American lives. Three years ago, his wife Taya
asked him to leave the SEAL teams as he had a huge bounty on his head by Al
Qaeda. He did and wrote the book The American Sniper. 100% of the
proceeds from the book went to two of the SEAL families who had lost their son
in Iraq. That was the guy Chris was. He formed a company in Dallas
to train military, police and I think firemen as far as protecting themselves
in difficult situations. He also formed a foundation to work with
military people suffering from PTSD. Chris was a giver not a
taker. He along with a friend and neighbor, Chad Littlefield, were
murdered trying to help a young man that had served 6 months in Iraq and
claiming to have PTSD.
Southwest Airlines flew in any SEAL and their family from any airport they flew
into free of charge. The employees donated buddy passes and one lady
worked for 4 days without much of a break to see that it happened.
Volunteers were at both airports in Dallas to drive them to the hotel.
The Marriott reduced their rates to $45 a night and cleared the hotel for only
SEALs and family. The Midlothian, Tx. police department paid the $45 a
night for each room. I would guess there were about 200 people staying at
the hotel. 100 of them SEALs. Two large buses were chartered to
transport people to the different events and they also had a few rent
cars. The police and secret service were on duty 24 hours during the stay
at our hotel.
front to block the view from reporters. It remained there the entire 5
days for the SEALs to congregate in and all to use the restroom so as not to
have to go in the house. Taya, their two small children and both sets of
parents were staying in the home. Only a hand full of SEALs went into the
home as they had different duties and meetings were held sometimes on a hourly
basis. It was a huge coordination of many different events and security. (My
son) was assigned to be a pall bearer, to escort Chris’ body when it was
transferred from Midlothian Funeral Home to Arlington Funeral Home and to be
with Taya. Tough job. Taya seldom came out of her bedroom.
The home was full with people from the church and other family members that
would come each day to help. I spent one morning in a bedroom with Chris’
mom and the next morning with Chad Littlefield’s parents (the other man
murdered with Chris). Tough job.
steaks, chicken and hamburgers. They set up in the front yard and fed
people all day long. The 200 SEALs and their family. The next day a BBQ
restaurant set up a buffet in front of the house and fed all once again.
Food was plentiful and all were taken care of. The church kept those
inside the house well fed.
star. He donated use of Cowboy Stadium for the services as it was determined
that so many wanted to attend. The charter buses transported us to the
stadium on Monday at 10:30. Every car, bus, motorcycle was searched with
bomb dogs and police. I am not sure if kooks were making threats trying
to make a name for themselves or if so many SEALs in one place was a security
risk…I don’t know. We willing obliged. No purses into
stadium! We were taken to The Legends room high up and a large buffet was
available. That was about 300 people. We were growing. A
Medal of Honor recipient was there, lots of secret service and police and Sarah
Palin and her husband. She did not impress me. She was taking the
opportunity to be interviewed for TV and dressed in high clog shoes and
corduroy jeans. She looked nice, but this was a very formal military
service. She was not dressed appropriately. The service started at
1:00 and when we were escorted onto the field I was shocked. We heard
about 10,000 people had come to attend also. They were seated in the stadium
seats behind us. It was a beautiful and emotional service. Bagpipe and
drum corps was wonderful and the A&M men’s choir stood through the entire
service and sang right at the end. We were all in tears.
Tx. to Austin for burial. It was a cold, drizzly, windy day, but the
people were out. We had dozens of police motorcycles riders, freedom
riders 5 chartered buses and lots of cars. You had to have a pass to be
in the procession and still it was huge. Two helicopters circled the
procession with snipers sitting out the side door for protection.
It was the longest funeral procession ever in the state of Texas. People
were everywhere. The entire route was shut down ahead of us and people
were lined up on the side of the road the entire way. Firemen down on one
knee, police officers holding their hats over their hearts, children waving
flags, veterans saluting as we went by.. Every bridge had fire trucks with
large flags displayed from their tall ladders….people all along the entire
200 miles standing in the cold weather. It was so heartwarming.
Taya rode in the hearse with Chris’ body so (my son) rode the route with
us. I was so grateful to have that time with him.
are buried there and you have to apply to get in. It is like people from
Civil War, Medal of Honor winners a few from the Alamo and all the historical
people of Texas. It was a nice service and the Freedom Riders surrounded
the outside of the entire cemetery to keep the crazy church from Kansas that
protests at military funerals away from us. Each SEAL put his Trident (metal
SEAL badge) on the top of Chris’ casket one at a time. A lot hit it in
with one blow, (my son) was the only one to take 4 taps to put his in and it
was almost like he was caressing it as he did it. Another tearful moment.
us to the governor’s mansion. She stood at the door and greeted each of
us individually and gave the SEALs a coin of Texas. We were able to tour
the ground floor and then went into the garden for beer and BBQ. So many
of the team guys said that after they get out they are moving to Texas.
That they had never felt so much love and hospitality. The charter buses
then took the guys to the airport to catch their returning flights. (my son)
just now called and after a 20 hours flight he is back in his spot.