Too late, or too much? Texas lawmaker pushes awarding Chris Kyle Medal of Honor

A Texas Congressman has introduced a bill that would bestow the congressional Medal of Honor upon the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. This is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be awarded an individual serving in the U.S. armed services.

Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, appeared on Fox Business Network Thursday and told Stuart Varney, host of “Verney & Co.,” that he held off introducing the bill until after the murder trial of Kyle’s killer.

Although Congress has lately become more known for squabbling than actually accomplishing anything, Williams doesn’t expect too many hurdles on this measure.

“He truly is an American hero. He saved countless American lives during his four tours,” Williams told Varney.

“And it comes at a good time too. It lets people in America and our soldiers, the best and the brightest we have, to let them know that we appreciate them and the job they do and that we love them.”

When the Washington Post tweeted the bill’s introduction, the proposal drew immediate approval:

The idea also had its share of detractors, but there was one in particular that deserves attention:

The Medal of Honor may be awarded to, according to

A person who, while a member of the naval service, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty
(1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
(2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
(3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Given these criteria, does Kyle deserve the award? Sadly, probably not, and were Kyle alive today I’m sure he’d agree.

Although his life was unquestionably at risk every day he served in Iraq, I’m unaware of any instance when he placed it “above and beyond” that which was expected of him as a sniper. And awarding the medal for anything less would be a disservice to other medal recipients.

Although a member of Congress may initiate the process for awarding a Medal of Honor, that recommendation must, as a practical matter, come from the field and refer to a specific act of heroism. A general statement that “he truly is an American hero” doesn’t quite make the grade.

Still, it would almost be worth presenting the honor to Kyle’s widow — just for the satisfaction of seeing the heads of Jesse Ventura and Michael Moore explode.


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