In military news, 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle and WW II hero Ed Dyess received the Texas Medal of Honor on Wednesday, August 26. Texas Governor Greg Abbott posthumously awarded the highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the state or federal military forces by the State of Texas to the two men in a ceremony held on the front lawn of the Governor’s Mansion in Austin, TX.
The late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, accepted the medal on her husband's behalf. The sister of Lt. Col. William “Ed” Dyess, a World War II veteran who died in 1943, accepted his Texas Legislative Medal of Honor on his behalf.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott was quoted in a press release as saying, "America is the brightest beacon of freedom the world has ever known because of all who have honorably worn the uniform of the mightiest military in the history of the world. For their remarkable valor and selfless service, it is my distinct honor to present the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Lt. Col. Ed Dyess and Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle. We can never repay the debt we owe for the lives these men saved and the freedom they preserved, but today we honor their memory, their patriotism and their sacrifice."
A US Navy SEAL who served from 1999 to 2009, Chris Kyle was described by Gov. Abbott as a man who's conduct during and after his service in the Iraq war is “what has made America so incredibly great.” Kyle is currently known as the most successful sniper in American military history. According to his book American Sniper, he had 160 confirmed kills (which was from 255 claimed kills).
Prior to posthumously receiving the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle awarded some of the highest medals in the US military multiple times including the Bronze and Silver Star. Kyle was fatally shot in 2013 at a shooting range by US military veteran Eddie Routh - a man Kyle was trying to help.
William Edwin Dyess, World War II flier, was born Aug. 9, 1916, in Albany, Texas. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and began assaults on Bataan and Corregidor, Dyess was thrust into combat in the Asian Theater as commander of all flying squadrons on Bataan. On March 3, 1942, in Subic Bay he sank a Japanese ship and damaged shore installations.
As the enemy closed in, Dyess refused evacuation and remained with his men in the Philippines. On April 9, 1942, the American forces surrendered to the Japanese, and Dyess became a prisoner of war. He survived the horror of the Bataan Death March and imprisonment at camps O'Donnell and Cabanatuan and the Davao Penal Colony.
At Davao, Dyess and several other prisoners escaped on April 4, 1943. They contacted Filipino guerillas that led them to the submarine Trout on July 23. After returning home and staying in an army general hospital in Virginia to regain his health, Dyess was promoted to lieutenant colonel and resumed flying on Dec. 22, 1943. He was killed that day in Burbank, Calif., attempting an emergency landing and was buried in Albany.
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