Following a unanimous resolution by state lawmakers, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday presented Chris Kyle‘s widow with the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor.
The presentation was authorized by a House resolution introduced with strong bipartisan support to posthumously issue the award, the state’s highest military honor, to the Texas-born “American Sniper.” The resolution sped through both chambers of the legislature in May without a single nay vote and was signed by Abbott last month.
“Since its inception, the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor has been awarded to those in the State of Texas who have demonstrated extraordinary heroism as a member of state or federal military forces, and there is no one more deserving of this year’s award than Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle,” said Abbott in a statement.
First authorized in 1997, the medal may only be awarded to federal or state military personnel and has been granted 10 times, nine of which were posthumous. Kyle’s medal was presented to his wife, Taya, in a ceremony this week at the governor’s mansion in Austin.
“Kyle is one of the legions of valiant warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and served our great nation with unrivaled honor, bravery and heroism,” Abbott said.
Also presented with the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor was Lt. Col. William Edwin “Ed” Dyess, a state native and World War II hero who survived the infamous Bataan Death March to escape from a Japanese POW camp only to perish in a plane crash in 1943.
It is the third time since taking office this year that Abbott has honored Kyle. In February he proclaimed Feb. 2 as “Chris Kyle Day” and later dedicated a portion of Highway 287 in Midlothian, as the “Chris Kyle Memorial Highway.”
Plans are afoot in Kyle’s hometown of Odessa to erect a memorial adjacent to the Veterans’ Clinic on the property of Medical Center Hospital.