On July 28, a memorial to Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was killed on a shooting range by a Marine veteran in 2009, will be unveiled at 8050 E. Highway 191 in Odessa, Texas.
To honor him, a Wyoming based sculptor named Vic Payne created a 15-foot-tall likeness of Kyle that will sit atop a 48,000-pound limestone base near a local Veterans Affairs clinic. Overall, the project ran about $1 million.
Kyle’s widow Taya told the press in a statement that “the goal is for the setting to be a healing and peaceful place for veterans and their families receiving care at the medical center, and those citizens who want to stop by and take a moment in honor of Chris and all those who serve.
According to OA Online, Kyle’s surviving family members are expected to attend and speak at the unveiling. The local news site also reported that government officials, including Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), will be there along with Odessa doctor Sudip Bose, who served as a frontline physician in the second battle of Fallujah, where Kyle fought. Larry Gatlin, a native Odessan and country singer will be singing the national anthem.
“We hope this is a place of solemn peace for them as they see what a community has done to honor one of its own and that will last for generations to come,” said Odessa oilman Kirk Edwards, who chairs the Chris Kyle Memorial Committee.
The plaza not only hosts Kyle’s statue, but is also surrounded by four trees from former President George W. Bush’s Crawford Ranch. And its limestone base is engraved with names of the 50 states and woven into a Navy Seal trident.
The unveiling will be open to the public, but tickets to a lunch at the Odessa Chuck Wagon Gang cost $17.50 on www.ocwg.org.