Chris Kyle, United States Navy SEAL and legend, reportedly exaggerated his military achievements. Internal Navy documents show that Kyle earned only half of the medals he claims to have been awarded in his bestselling book “American Sniper”. Only receiving one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars is still impressive so it makes one wonder why he exaggerated. Regardless of why, Kyle was a hero no matter what way you slice it.
This attack on Kyle and a recent attack on Vietnam War legend Basil Plumley makes it seem that there is a group of people in America looking to tear down our heroes anyway they can.
An excerpt from Kyle’s book “American Sniper” reads:
“All told, I would end my career as a SEAL with two Silver Stars and five Bronze [Stars], all for valor.”
Kyle’s book “American Sniper” claims that he was awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for valor over the course of four deployments to the Middle East. Internal Navy documents obtained by The Intercept reveal that Kyle earned only one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars during that time. Before his memoir was published Kyle was reportedly warned by a former commanding officer that his memoir inaccurately inflated the number of medals he received.
Former SEALs and Kyle’s commanding officers that commented on the discrepancy asked to remain unnamed for fear of being ostracised from the close-knit military community. They claim that Kyle inflated the number of medals he received but will not argue that Kyle did not deserve the medals he was awarded. The agree that Kyle showed unrivaled bravery in the field and believe that Kyle is a true American hero.
The service members that commented on the discrepancy have conflicting feelings about the news. They feel that Kyle’s achievements while on deployment are commendable. Yet it is a widely held belief that embellishing your battlefield achievements is dishonorable.
The discrepancy can be traced back to Kyle’s separation documents, known in the military as a DD214. The DD214 is generated locally at the command where the service member is separated from the military. According to Kyle’s DD214 he was awarded two Silver Stars and six Bronze Stars with valor. This number differentiates from both the actual number of medals Kyle received and the number of medals he claims to have received in his book. The Navy could not explain why the number of medals Kyle received on his DD214 differentiated from the number of medals he was awarded according to the internal Navy documents that brought this controversy to light.
Regardless of how many medals Kyle received Kyle is still widely considered an American hero. His bravery in the field is well documented and supported by eyewitness testimony from soldiers he served with.