Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared today “Chris Kyle Day” in Texas to honor the veteran whose story is the basis of the box-office hit “American Sniper.”
“He’s an American hero. He had the guts to stand up and defend this country,” Abbott told Fox News, defending his decision to recognize the Iraq War veteran.
The governor announced his decision to honor Kyle last Friday at a Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in Austin. He was met with a standing ovation and loud applause by the veterans in attendance.
The marine who killed Kyle, who suffered from mental health issues, is set to go on trial next month.
Meanwhile, a petition on the White House website surfaced pushing for the former sniper to posthumously receive the Medal of Honor. The petition currently has about 6,000 signatures. The White House is required to respond if the petition receives 100,000 signatures. The petitions themselves are non-binding and most medal winners come from congressional or military nominees.