This is a little disappointing.
On Wednesday, some disturbing news came to light about late Navy SEAL hero Chris Kyle‘s impressive military achievements.
The former sharpshooter, who was portrayed by Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, was famous for having over 160 sniper kills, the most in U.S. military history.
Before he was murdered, Mr. Kyle had written an autobiography by the same title, and in the pages described the decorations he received during his decade of service. In the memoir, Chris wrote:
“All told, I would end my career as a SEAL with two Silver Stars and five Bronze [Stars], all for valor.”
However, The Intercept revealed that this isn’t an honest statement after all!
The online publication requested all Navy documents about the sniper’s awards, and according to the papers provided, the Texas native fudged his records, and actually only received one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars.
Believe it or not, the exaggeration wasn’t exactly a secret, either…
A former SEAL, who remained anonymous, admitted that higher-ups were aware of the fib, saying:
“The SEAL leadership was aware of the embellishment, but didn’t want to correct the record because Kyle’s celebrity status reflected well on the command.”
Among members of the armed forces, embellishing accomplishments is looked down upon. One retired SEAL commented on the lie, adding:
“It takes away from the legitimate heroism he showed.”
But the numbers listed in the war vet’s memoir is not the only discrepancy in his honors. Chris’ separation form — AKA his DD214 — also lists inaccurate information, reporting that he had earned two Silver Stars and six Bronze Stars.
Navy Personnel Command spokesperson Cullen James said of the mistake:
“The Navy considers the individual service member’s official military personnel file and our central official awards records to be the authoritative sources for verifying entitlement to decorations and awards. The form DD214 is generated locally at the command where the service member is separated. Although the information on the DD214 should match the official records, the process involves people and inevitably some errors may occur.”
One unnamed official doesn’t understand why the records weren’t changed once the issue came to light, discussing:
“Given [Kyle’s] celebrity, you’d think the Navy would have gone back and fixed the discrepancy. But he’s only got the three Bronze and one Silver Star.”
However, Jocko Willink, one of Chris’ former commanding officers, says the specific number of Stars doesn’t affect how he feels about the fallen soldier and his accomplishments:
“Chris Kyle, like many of the SEALs, soldiers, and Marines I had the honor to serve with, deserve much more than whatever ribbons and medals they received.”
What do U make of all this, Perezcious readers?
[Image via AP Images.]