In a critique that lays blame at the feet of society, the military, and, in some ways, Chris Kyle,Â administrators at the Soul Repair Center at Fort Worth’s Brite Divinity School addressed Kyle’s murder in a Star-TelegramÂ editorial today. The military cocoon – the one Kyle wrapped around himself upon his return from combat, and sought to wrap around others – may have hurt theÂ re-acclimationÂ process, not helped. Sure to stoke debate, one commenter already responded: “Chris died because he had a huge heart and took time out of his day to help a fellow veteran. I know Chris and can’t tell you how difficult it is to be on our side of this situation and have strangers criticize his actions.”
Here’s an excerpt:
Kyle may have failed to understand the difficulties some returning vets might have with a “HOOHA” model of counseling, and training, especially those with traumatic brain injuries, PTSD and moral injury. For veterans who feel betrayed by the government, have serious trauma or experience a collapse of moral meaning after war, military life can be part of the difficulty in adjusting to the civilian world.
Kyle was not a trained clinician or minister. Yet, with the best of intentions and care for other veterans, he tried to help a troubled reservist he barely knew. Did he know of Routh’s treatment for mental illness, his DUI or his murder-suicide attempt? If Kyle knew these things and still took Routh to a live-fire range or tried to give therapy to a virtual stranger, we must question the judgment of his decision.