Kyle talks of helping veterans in last interview

Student journalist K'Leigh Bedingfield. PHOTO BY LANDON HASTON/Texan News Service

Tarleton University student journalist K’Leigh Bedingfield.

PHOTO BY LANDON HASTON/Texan News Service

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

Tarleton State University in Stephenville earlier this month named top military sniper Chris Kyle its Outstanding Distinguished Alumnus. A student journalist at the university, K’Leigh Bedingfield, spoke with him in what may be his last interview for the student news website, the Texan News Service, on Jan. 28.

“I would love for people to be able to think of me as a guy who stood up for what he believed in and helped make a difference for the veterans,” Kyle said in the phone interview. “You know, somebody who cared so much about them that he wanted them taken care of.”

Bedingfield wrote that Kyle, who attended Tarleton in 1994, said he still struggled with emotions from having survived a war that claimed so many other lives. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller American Sniper, a memoir of what it was like to be the man called the “deadliest sniper” in U.S. military history.

“There’s definitely still a lot of hurt from losing my guys, or the fact that I got out when I felt like it wasn’t my time yet, “ Kyle said. “So being able to do this makes me still feel like I’m a part of it and still giving back. I feel that we definitely owe these guys everything that we can, so I’m just trying to do my part.”

To hear Bedingfield’s recorded interview with Kyle, go to www.texannews.net.

Kyle, 38, and a friend, Chad Littlefield, 35, were gunned down Saturday on the shooting range at Rough Creek Lodge west of Glen Rose. A 25-year-old U.S. Marine veteran of the war in Iraq, Eddie Ray Routh, was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder.

He is being held at the Erath County Jail in Stephenville on a $3 million bond.

Law enforcement authorities said Sunday that Kyle may have been trying to help Routh with mental problems he suffered after returning from duty. Kyle founded an organization to help veterans remain physically fit and provide emotional therapy, including target practice.

Chris Kyle and his wife, Taya, in June 2012. (From the American Sniper Facebook page)

Chris Kyle and his wife, Taya, in June 2012. (From the American Sniper Facebook page)

Peter Hubbard, executive editor of William Morrow/HarperCollins, Kyle’s publisher, noted in a statement released Sunday that Kyle donated proceeds of American Sniper to “the families of his fallen friends.”

“It was an incomparable honor to help share Chris’s remarkable story of service and faith with the world,” Hubbard added. “Chris was a hero as much on the home front as on the battlefield–a man who dedicated his life in recent years to supporting veterans….He deserves our deepest respect.”

 

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