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‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle’s Kids Talk Life After Dad’s Death: Faith is ‘Helping Me’

Photo from Colton Kyle’s Instagram

‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle’s Kids Talk Life After Dad’s Death: Faith is ‘Helping Me’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Eleven years after their dad’s death, Colton and McKenna Kyle are opening up about how they’ve relied on their faith since losing their father, Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper,” at a young age.

“Though adversity, through fire, gold is refined,” Colton told PEOPLE. “I am a better man today than I would have been if I had not lost my father, especially at the time that I did. I have grown so much spiritually and emotionally.”

“[Losing my father] was devastating to me,” McKenna added. “My main coping mechanism was to look at everything as negative so I wouldn’t feel something I thought was perfect was taken away again.”

“[My faith] is definitely helping me,” she continued. “That’s been a bigger help than everything I’ve tried in the past.”

Chris Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War, becoming an American legend for raking up the most sniper kills in U.S. military history. After being honorably discharged from the military, he created Craft International, a tactical training company. He was also heavily involved in work to help veterans struggling with mental health issues.

In 2013, Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were murdered by a 25-year-old military veteran with schizophrenia they had been trying to help. A year prior, Kyle had published his memoir, “American Sniper,” which stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 37 weeks. Shortly after his death, Kyle’s story was turned into an Oscar-winning movie.

Part of Movieguide®’s review for AMERICAN SNIPER reads:

Based on a true story, AMERICAN SNIPER is full of strong Christian faith, self-sacrifice and patriotism. The movie is endlessly captivating and full of jeopardy, and Clint Eastwood does a magnificent job directing. That said, after countless killings, even the audience may become war weary. Also, a couple characters lose faith and courage. Finally, AMERICAN SNIPER contains many “f” words, extreme violence and some lewd content. AMERICAN SNIPER is a powerful but difficult movie for patriotic people of faith and values.

Kyle’s children now look to keep his legacy alive and continue to help military veterans returning home. After graduating college last year, Colton is taking a gap year to run the American Sniper brand that donates a portion of its profits to The Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation, which focuses on strengthening military and first responder marriages.

“My mom had allowed me to move forward with it and see everything I can do with it,” Colton said, noting that the company carries on his father’s values. “His values and what American Sniper stands for are duty, sacrifice, patriotism, being God-fearing, freedom, family, and excellence.”

“I’ll be exploring lifestyle gear and serving active military and veterans through the brand,” he added.

McKenna, meanwhile, is finishing her final year of high school but plans on going into psychology and therapy to help military members and first responders who are suffering mental damage from their work.

“That’s really exciting to me. And it’s also something that my dad was interested in,” she said. “So I think that it’s kind of carrying on his legacy.”

Movieguide® previously reported:

Chuck Norris honored the 11-year anniversary of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s death on Feb. 2.

Chris and his business partner Chad Littlefield were killed at their practice shooting range by a former marine. Chris had served as a Navy SEAL for 10 years and is considered the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, with over 160 confirmed kills over his four tours. Though he faced countless dangers while serving the country, he was killed in a senseless act of violence on home soil.

Chris’ wife, Taya, has explained how, despite the tragedy, she found a deeper appreciation for God’s character.

“11 yrs since Chris and Chad were murdered in cold blood… There is no sense in it, no explanation. Where is God? God promises free will to all people, and He keeps His promises. Even people who choose to do evil with their free will have the choice,” Taya said in a commemorative post on Instagram.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.