Tags: chris kyle | taya kyle | book | abc | american sniper

Wife Tells of 'Gentle, Tender' Side to SEAL Hero Chris Kyle

By    |   Thursday, 30 April 2015 11:35 AM

In war-torn Iraq, Navy SEAL legend Chris Kyle was known as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, racking up 160 confirmed kills during four tours of duty.

But there was another side to Chris Kyle — a gentle, loving family man and doting father — which is detailed in his wife, Taya's, new book, "American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith and Renewal," to be released on Monday, and an exclusive interview with Taya done by ABC's Robin Roberts, which will air Friday at 10 p.m.

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Kyle, 38, whose feats were the basis of the hit movie "American Sniper," and his friend Chad Littlefield were murdered on Feb. 2, 2013, by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh at a Texas shooting range. Routh is serving a life sentence for the murders.

When she heard of Kyle's death and had to tell their two children, Taya told Roberts, "I remember just closing my eyes, the tears rolling down and me just trying to breathe," the New York Daily News reports.

The pair first met in a Southern California bar and Taya recalls that she had no intention of marrying either a cowboy or a Navy SEAL.

"I mean, we're in a bar, you know, and he was so genuine and had a depth to him and this really hot body with a cute face and then an interesting career path," she tells Roberts.
"I was intrigued, but I didn't think that it would ever be anything serious."

In the hit film, the two were played by Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, and Taya told Roberts: "The funny thing is, in the movie, you see Bradley's hand, or at least I did, where he just gently has his hand on Sienna's head, and it's such a gentle, tender exchange even though he had just met her. And I feel like that was so incredibly true with Chris."

They married in 2002. Kyle's wedding band had the message: "My life, my love," and Taya's had "All of me" inscribed.

However, they frequently were pulled apart by Kyle's tours of duty, broken only by short trips home to his wife and the kids he nicknamed Bubba and Angel.

"I truly don't think there's a better example of what a father should be than him, and I don't say that lightly. And I don't even think it's all that biased," Taya told Roberts.

"He expected them to look him in his eye, and be polite, and have good manners and do what they're told. And then he cuddled them, you know. He was always available for hugs and, you know, big hugs and a lot of love."

Eventually, Taya insisted that Kyle leave the SEALs and come home to his family. "It wasn't just for me, and it wasn't just for the kids," Taya told Roberts. "This is a guy who would go until there was nothing left, and I felt like he was kind of on the precipice of not having much left."

After struggles with returning to civilian life and near breakups, Kyle straightened his life out and grew even closer with his family before he was killed.

"I still feel like I see him in the kitchen, you know? I still feel like he's everywhere," Taya told Roberts.

As for Kyle's deadly image, Taya told Roberts she wrote the book because, "there is so much more to him. It was my chance to share some of that side too, 'cause I think he's earned it."

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Taya Kyle speaks of her husband, "American Sniper" hero Chris Kyle, as a gentle, loving family man and doting father in a new book to be released Monday, and in an exclusive interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, which will air Friday.
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Thursday, 30 April 2015 11:35 AM
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