Family and friends gathered Friday afternoon at First Baptist Church in Midlothian to remember Chad Littleton. He and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle were killed last Saturday at a gun range in Erath County. Kyle, who earned the reputation as “America’s most lethal sniper” will be remembered at Cowboys stadium Monday.
Monday morning, Kyle's family will attend a private ceremony to remember the former Navy Seal at Cowboys Stadium. Hours later, doors will open to the public for a memorial expected to draw thousands. Among the crowd will be many people who never met Kyle, but greatly admire him.
"It’s been a long time since we’ve had an actual hero in this world and Chris is one of those,” says Mike Lambert, who is State Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders of Texas.
Since 2005, Patriot Guard members have been attending funerals of fallen soldiers across the country to show their respect. Lambert, who served in the Navy for over two decades, says Cowboys Stadium -- which can hold up to 100,000 people -- is the perfect place to honor Kyle.
"There's not any place in the Dallas Fort-Worth area that would accommodate the amount of people who want to show their love to this man,” Lambert says.
Many considered Kyle a hero for the lives he saved in Iraq, but he probably wouldn’t have referred to himself that way. Speaking with Krys Boyd on KERA’s THINK last January, Kyle described himself as a normal guy.
"I’m no different than everybody else; I just did a different job. I’m your average, every day, next door guy.”
Of course, not every ‘next door guy’ has killed over 150 Iraqi insurgents and lived with a $20,000 bounty on his head…which is exactly why Kyle’s memorial is expected to be anything but average.
Details of the ceremony are still under wraps, but we do know the doors open to the public at 11:30 am on Monday, and security will be tight. No purses, backpacks or cameras will be allowed. Parking will be free and Kyle's family has requested the general public not take photographs or record video during the ceremony.