AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) — Governor Greg Abbott presented the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor for Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, the 'American Sniper,' at the Governor's Mansion on Wednesday.
The Texas Legislative Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration the State of Texas can award to a member of the state or federal military.
"America is the brightest beacon of freedom the world has ever known because of all who have honorably worn the uniform of the mightiest military in the history of the world," Abbott said. "For their remarkable valor and selfless service, it is my distinct honor to present the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Lt. Col. Ed Dyess and Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle. We can never repay the debt we owe for the lives these men saved and the freedom they preserved, but today we honor their memory, their patriotism and their sacrifice."
Kyle, a former Navy SEAL, served two tours in Iraq and was awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars. The 2014, Academy Award-winning film "American Sniper" was based on Kyle's life and book of the same title. Earlier this year, a North Texas jury convicted former Marine Eddie Ray Routh of capital murder for killing Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.
Abbott also presented the award for Lt. Col. Ed Dyess, the namesake of Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene. Dyess was a World War II veteran who survived the Bataan Death March. He died in 1943 when he had to perform an emergency crash-landing after losing an engine in his aircraft during takeoff in California.
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