by John MacHaffie, NASARA News
I just wanted to share with you all, that out of a horrible tragedy we were blessed by so any people. Chris was Derek’s teammate through 10 years of training and battle. They both suffer/suffered from PTSD to some extent and took great care of each other because of it. 2006 in Ramadi was horrible for young men that never had any more aggressive physical contact with another human than on a Texas football field. They lost many friends.
Chris became the armed services number #1 sniper of all time. Not something he was happy about, other than the fact that in so doing, he saved a lot of American lives. Three years ago, his wife Taya asked him to leave the SEAL teams as he had a huge bounty on his head by Al Qaeda. He did and wrote the book The American Sniper.
100% of the proceeds from the book went to two of the SEAL families who had lost their sons in Iraq. That was the guy Chris was. He formed a company in Dallas to train military, police and I think firemen as far as protecting themselves in difficult situations. He also formed a foundation to work with military people suffering from PTSD. Chris was a giver not a taker.
He along with a friend and neighbor, Chad Littlefield, were murdered trying to help a young man that had served 6 months in Iraq and claiming to have PTSD.
Now I need to tell you about all of the blessings. Southwest Airlines flew in any SEAL and their family from any airport, they flew free of charge. The employees donated buddy passes and one lady worked for 4 days without much of a break to see that it happened. Volunteers were at both airports in Dallas to drive them to the hotel.
The Marriott Hotel reduced their rates to $45 a night and cleared the hotel for only SEAL’s and family. The Midlothian, Texas, Police Department paid the $45 a night for each room. I would guess there were about 200 people staying at the hotel. 100 of them SEAL’s. Two large buses were chartered (unknown donor paid the bill) to transport people to the different events and they also had a few rent cars (donated). The police and secret service were on duty 24 hours during the stay at our hotel.
At the house the Texas DPS parked a large motor home in front to block the view from reporters. It remained there the entire 5 days for the SEAL’s to congregate in and all to use the restroom so as not to have to go in the house. Taya, their two small children and both sets of parents were staying in the home.
Only a hand full of SEAL’s went into the home as they had different duties and meetings were held sometimes on a hourly basis. It was a huge coordination of many different events and security.
Derek was assigned to be a pall bearer, to escort Chris’ body when it was transferred from Midlothian Funeral Home to Arlington Funeral Home and to be with Taya. Tough job. Taya seldom came out of her bedroom. The home was full with people from the church and other family members that would come each day to help. I spent one morning in a bedroom with Chris’ mom and the next morning with Chad Littlefield’s parents (the other man murdered with Chris). Tough job.