LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Helping military and first responder families face challenges just by telling her story. American Sniper, Chris Kyle's wife Taya Kyle spoke at the McMahon Auditorium on Friday night to benefit the Lawton Soccer Club. They are in need of repairs to their field parking lot so they can start hosting soccer tournaments in Lawton.
In the spirit of the reason for the fundraising, Taya talked about her history playing soccer before diving into her life story, which is also laid out in her book American Wife. With jokes and sorrow Taya spoke about the parts of her life that changed her.
"He really had something about him. Kind. Charismatic," Taya said about her late husband Chris.
Chris was a big part of her story that she told on Friday night. Chris was known as the most effective U.S. military sniper while he served in Iraq. His autobiography American Sniper came out in 2012, and the movie of the same name came out after his 2013 death.
Taya talked about Chris' reluctance to write the bestselling book.
"Eventually people started writing books about him. And that made him really uncomfortable," Taya said. "They'd given him the nickname 'Legend.' And he didn't like that. He said people are going to write a book about me and expect that I'm all this. I'm not. I'm just a man doing my job. And there is a lot of guys out there who deserve glory and recognition more than I do."
She spoke about faith and grief, and the power of sharing those feelings with others.
"I found that people usually just like to know that they are not alone and that perseverance is possible even in life's hardest moments," Taya said.
A short meet and greet was held before the event for VIP ticket holders.
Taya said making those connections with the military and first responders families, those who she helps through the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, mean a lot to her.
"Some even said that, the caregivers, their husbands are wounded, and it's a really rough life. I think they appreciate the candid part of me because they can relate," Taya said.
This is the Lawton Soccer Club's second annual fundraiser featuring great speakers. Keep an eye out for more as the club continues to make improvements to their field.