Hero in America has become a much abused and maligned term. People call victims of disasters and tragedy “heroes” for surviving. Some are called “heroes” for living through the day to day toil to support their families. But simply surviving a catastrophe, suffering a tragedy, or taking responsibility is not the stuff that makes one stand out from others. The quality that makes a true hero is that one sets aside their own safety and comfort and puts the protection and well-being of others ahead of his own. Chris Kyle was such a man.
As a Navy SEAL sniper, he volunteered to go to Iraq to serve four tours of duty. He did not count his kill total as his measure of success, but the lives of his fellow soldiers that he saved. After leaving the service, Chris made it his personal responsibility to help those who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from the wounds of war, both physical and mental. It was in this service that Chris died.
America has had heroes of Chris Kyle’s quality in the past. The most decorated hero to emerge from WWII, fellow Texan Audie Murphy is one of America’s greatest heroes. On the battlefields of North Africa and Europe, Murphy put aside his own safety to save numerous American soldiers in combat. He was awarded more medals for bravery than any American soldier in the history of this nation. After the war, he funded many charities and was always quick to help those in need.
Audie Murphy had his flaws as all men do, and his life, too, was cut short. World War Two was a big war and Murphy was a big hero. Iraq was not a big war, but that doesn’t mean Chris Kyle was not a big hero. As all humans, Chris Kyle was not a perfect man. We know there are those who judge Chris and condemn him. He stands now before our Heavenly Father in Judgement, but we, his brothers and sisters in Christ, have no fear over the fate of his immortal soul, for we know that Jesus stands at his side.