MIDLOTHIAN — We were scheduled to do a story this week on Chris Kyle and his upcoming work with law enforcement and educators.
The violent death of the former Navy SEAL sniper — and what to make of it — has now become the story.
Some of Kyle's neighbors in Midlothian lowered flags to half staff on Sunday. Relatives, former Navy SEALs and close friends rushed to offer comfort, including Dalworthington Gardens Police Chief Bill Waybourn.
"His wife is a spectacular woman who is doing as well as can be expected, and so is his family," Waybourn said. "They're surrounded by a lot of people, and we're just trying to love them through it."
Waybourn's friendship with Kyle was forged in faith. "He was a ministry unto himself," Waybourn said. "He was that guy that if you're a vet and you needed a hand, he was reaching out to you."
It was "reaching out" that apparently cost Kyle his life. Investigators believe he was trying to help a fellow veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder when Eddie Routh allegedly shot Kyle and Chad Littlefield.
"Reaching out" has become a theme for former Navy SEALs through a program called "Carry The Load."
It was started by burly former SEAL Clint Bruce, who has been supporting Chris Kyle's family nearly around the clock since the shooting on Saturday afternoon.
"Carry the Load" is a walking relay from New York to Texas, to raise awareness of sacrifice, and to raise money for charities that help the families of fallen vets.
That now includes the family of Chris Kyle.
Bill Waybourn said Kyle carried the load more than anyone knew after writing his best-selling book, "American Sniper."
The paperback edition hit stores last month, but it hadn't cracked the Amazon best-sellers chart. Within hours of Kyle's murder, however, it started to climb. By Sunday night, the paperback took the No. 1 spot and the hard cover edition was No. 3.
"The money he made from that book went directly to the families of the SEAL team members that were lost," the chief said. "He and [his wife] Taya kept not a dime of that, because that's a humble family."
And now, Chief Waybourn said, it's time for us to support Chris Kyle's family, and what he considered his ministry to help vets in need.