This is why America will remain strong. We take care of our own as well as others who may not deserve taking care of. I just wanted to share with you all that out of a horrible tragedy we were blessed by so many people.
Chris Kyle was Derek’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 so doing, 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 sons in Iraq .
That was the kind of 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 six months in Iraq and claimed to have PTSD.
Now I need to tell you about all of the blessings.
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 four 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 Hotel 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 were SEALs. Two large buses were chartered (an unknown donor paid the bill) to transport people to the different events and they also had a few rental cars (donated). The police and secret service were on duty 24 hours during the stay at our hotel.
At the Kyle house, the Texas DPS parked a large motor home in front to block the view from reporters. It remained there the entire five 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. Derek was assigned to be a Pall Bearer, to escort Chris’ body when it was transferred from the Midlothian Funeral Home to the Arlington Funeral Home, and to be with Taya. A tough job.
Taya seldom came out of her bedroom. The house 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). A tough job.
George W Bush and his wife Laura met and talked to everyone on the Seal Team one on one. They went behind closed doors with Taya for quite a while. They had prayer with us all. You can tell when people were sincere and caring.
Nolan Ryan sent his cooking team, a huge grill and lots of steaks, chicken and hamburgers. They set up in the front yard and fed people all day long including the 200 SEALs and their families. The next day a local 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 family’s church kept those inside the house well fed.
Jerry Jones, the man everyone loves to hate, was a rock star. He made sure that we all were taken care of. His wife and he were just making sure everyone was taken care of…Class… He donated the 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 am. 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 willingly obliged. No purses went into the stadium!
We were taken to The Legends room high up and a large buffet was available. That was for 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 looked nice, this was a very formal military service.
The service started at 1:00 pm and when we were escorted onto the field I was shocked. We heard that 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.
The Bagpipe and drum corps were wonderful and the Texas A&M men’s choir stood through the entire service and sang right at the end. We were all in tears.
The next day was the 200-mile procession from Midlothian, 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, five 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, the people were lined up on the side of the road the entire way. Firemen were down on one knee, police officers were 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 were standing in the cold weather. It was so heartwarming. Taya rode in the hearse with Chris’ body so Derek rode the route with us. I was so grateful to have that time with him.
The service was at Texas National Cemetery. Very few are buried there and you have to apply to get in. It is like people from the 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 people from Kansas that protest 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. Derek was the only one to take four taps to put his in and it was almost like he was caressing it as he did it. Another tearful moment.
After the service Governor Rick Perry and his wife, Anita, invited us to the governor’s mansion. She stood at the door, greeted each of us individually, and gave each of the SEALs a coin of Texas. She was a sincere, compassionate, and gracious hostess.
We were able to tour the ground floor and then went into the garden for beverages and BBQ. So many of the Seal team guys said that after they get out they are moving to Texas. They remarked 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. Derek just now called and after a 20 hours flight he is back in his spot, in a dangerous land on the other side of the world, protecting America.
We just wanted to share with you, the events of a quite emotional, but blessed week.
To this day, no one in the White House has ever acknowledged Chris Kyle.
However, the President can call some sport person and congratulate him on announcing to the world that he is gay? What the hell is happening to our society, our honor and our pride??
Footnote: Chris’ story has now been made into a movie “The Sniper”, directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller
A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre- Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and it had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farmhouse. Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside. The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.
The old folks no longer showed the horses, for the years had taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in the mornings and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day’s end.
Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks “Why do you not at least dispose of The Old One.” She is no longer of use to you. It’s been years since you’ve had foals from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves. How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?”
The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, ” Yes, I could use a pair of new boots.”
His arm slid defensively about the Old One’s neck as he drew her near. With gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied quietly, “We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love.”
Baffled and impatient, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley.
The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that filled their hearts?
So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed the smell of the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the “Old One”.
In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire’s fury. His wife back from calling for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other, they wept at their loss.
By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together in front of the barn. They were speechless and stunned as they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulder as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, “We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.
And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old, withered hand.
The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill, the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.
Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top- most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.
Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night light.
Bedded down around the “Old One” close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.
At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new years crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the “Old One” as she moved calmly up the hill to safety beneath the pine. And now she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife.
Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift —LOVE. Because of love. Only Because of love.
Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy… And again the peace of love filled their hearts.
This is a true story.
This is an Inspirational message sent to a small group of people. My hope is that it will make your day just a little bit better. Keep reading. A small request ! Cancer is a strange cell. Going along for years in remission and then one day it pops it head up again. Pray for the day there will be a permanent cure. A SMALL REQUEST… 93% won’t forward, but I’m Sure You Will……..All you are asked to do is keep this circulating, even if it’s only to one more person. In honour of anyone you know who has been touched by cancer.
Thanks to Andy Pao for this great submission! It really does prove that age is just a number.
The Wooden Bowl
I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now,
a year from now.
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson.
The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered
The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
‘We must do something about father,’ said the son.
‘I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.’
So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.
There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.
When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.
Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.
He asked the child sweetly, ‘What are you making?’ Just as sweetly, the boy responded,
‘Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.
‘ The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.
The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.
That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.
On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:
a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life..’
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.
I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you
But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others,
your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.
People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I’ve learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about .I just did.
NOTICE AT THE END,
THE DATE THE CANDLE WAS STARTED.
GONNA GIVE YOU GOOSE BUMPS.
I am not going to be the one who lets it die. I found it believable —
angels have walked beside me all my life–and they still do
This is to all of you who
mean something to me,
I pray for your happiness.
The Candle Of Love, Hope & Friendship
This candle was lit on the
15th of September, 1998
Someone who loves you has helped
keep it alive by sending it to you.
Don’t let The Candle of Love, Hope and Friendship die
Pass It On To All Of Your Friends
and Everyone You Love!
May God richly bless you!
So generously submitted by Debbie Rodrigues