Taya Kyle, the widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history who was killed in 2013, went to the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas on Friday to support AmericanSnipers.org, a non-profit that provides gear to military snipers, because they have been “really supportive.”
The SHOT Show, which stands for shooting, hunting, and outdoor trade show, raffled off several firearms used by the men and women who served in the military, including a replica of the McMillan .338 Lapua Chris Kyle used in combat, signed by Taya Kyle.
The entire gun raffle raised over $62,000.
What Taya Kyle didn’t know is the surprise the group planned for her.
After announcing all of the raffle winners, the group announced that “every dime” raised that night would go to her and her family.
After learning the incredible gesture, she responded, “Now I don’t have words. Thank you, I don’t even know what to say. It’s a bittersweet journey, obviously. And I do feel Chris with me, but I’m also very aware, as I know Debbie is too, that physically we all want him here.” Debbie Lee was the mother of Marc Lee, the first Navy Seal to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Fighting back tears, she continued, “The generosity — to me it’s less about the money and more about the support. The idea that people still care and love what Chris stood for and love him.” Watch her heartfelt response below:
According to The Blaze, Taya said the SHOT Show has left her with a “full heart” as everyone has showed overwhelming love and support towards her. SHOT Show attendees formed what seemed like a never-ending line just to hug and take a picture with her.
“It’s overwhelmingly beautiful,” Taya added. “It’s comforting and I want to try to be that kind of support and comfort to somebody else as well. Specifically, it’s the first responder marriages and veteran marriages we want to help with the foundation, but also for people personally. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just show up.”
Brain Sain, the president of AmericanSnipers.org, explained that he was good friends with Chris Kyle, and before he died they talked about raffling off one of his rifles for a lot of money. Since Chris was murdered before their plan came together, he made it his mission to accomplish what they originally said they would- so he did.