Weatherford Democrat

February 14, 2013

Letter to the Editor - Feb. 14, 2013


Weatherford Democrat

— Embarrassed as a veteran

Dear Editor,

Gov. Rick Perry released a statement Feb. 11th regarding the passing of former Navy Seal Chris Kyle:

“Chris Kyle was the public face of an anonymous breed of American warrior who are handed the hardest missions and assume the largest risks. Chris was among the very best at what he did, and he saved countless American lives in the process. Our state and our nation suffered a profound loss with his passing. I am honored to have known Chris and to have called him my friend. Anita and I send our deepest condolences to his wife, Taya, his children and the thousands of service members that were his extended family.”

Chris Kyle, a Texas native and resident, was shot and killed on Feb. 2 at a Texas shooting range, and was buried in the state capitol of Austin at Texas State Cemetery. Despite the overwhelming support of thousands of Texans, Gov. Perry did not issue a proclamation directing flags to be flown at half staff statewide at either Chris Kyle’s memorial service or his funeral.

Texas law states that flags will be flown at half staff for politicians, honored members of the military and public figures in Texas. The same applies to burial at Texas State Cemetery. Why was the exception made at the burial site and not at the flag pole? The Kyle family requested both and Gov. Perry who calls Kyle “my friend,” doesn’t know what friendship is about.

Perry was out of Texas the 11th and 12th and could not make a personal appearance at Cowboy Stadium or Austin. His itinerary does not indicate any urgency requiring him to be out of state, thus allowing him to reschedule and attend instead of sending his wife, Anita. Is this friendship? More than 7,000 people attended the memorial service before a motorcade headed to Austin from Arlington. Sarah Pallin, her husband and family members canceled events to attend, traveling from Alaska. Many others followed suit. Kyle’s family knows who their friends really are.

The president of the United States, Barrack Obama, has still to comment on Chris Kyle’s death. He had a great opportunity during his State Of The Union address Tuesday nite the 12th, following Kyle’s burial earlier that day, to pay tribute with a gesture of some sort to someone who sacrificed so much to save so many. What a friend to someone who saved so many soldier’s lives.

It didn’t take long, the next day in fact, Feb. 12, 2012, for Obama to make a statement on the death of a drug addict, Whitney Houston, and honor the request for flags to fly half staff across the country. Perry was right behind. What a choice! Drug addict versus military hero.

I have spent the better part of two days calling Rick Perry’s office, 512-463-1826, and getting the real run around. Each person I spoke to, I identified myself, asked the questions I needed answered, and explained I would be sending “Letters To The Editor” regarding my concerns to more than 42 newspapers throughout the U.S. I also went to www.governor.state.tx.us/contact/ and filled out the form with my info and comments. The only words uttered from Perry’s office were, “Kyle was not an active duty military person” or “someone will get back to you.” I guess you know what I know – nothing.

When Chris Kyle died, he was doing what his heart felt good about. He was helping a veteran with severe PTSD. Kyle has a foundation called FITCO CARES (www.fitcocares.org) a non-profit organization Kyle started to help wounded veterans by providing them in-home fitness equipment.

Plans are now under way to expand the foundation’s efforts to help veterans with PTSD. Show Chris Kyle who his friends really are and help with his foundation.

God Bless our military, veterans, and their families.

Jim Vines, Mineral Wells