Taya and Chris Kyle
Taya Kyle, Widow of American Sniper Chris Kyle, Shares Mental Health Journey
Taya Kyle, widow of American Sniper Chris Kyle, shared her mental health journey during Bryan Health’s Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Taya met the love of her life, Chris Kyle, in 2001. They married a year later and eventually welcomed two children. Chris was a Navy SEAL and served four tours of duty in Iraq. He is known as the most lethal sniper in United States military history.
Chris was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2009 after an illustrious career. Three years later, he released a book: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. The publication spent 37 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and brought national attention.
Inspiration for Film
In 2014, Chris’ life was the inspiration for the film, American Sniper. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, the movie would gross nearly $550 million worldwide. The picture was critically acclaimed and received numerous Oscar nominations.
Sadly, before the film was released, Chris was shot and killed at a shooting range in Texas, leaving behind Taya and their two children. It was devastating. Taya dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety as she faced a future without her husband.
“One of the things I’ve learned in hardship is knowing you’re not alone is a huge part of healing,” Taya said. “I think it helps people realize we don’t need to have a stigma about mental health. It’s really more important to talk about it. You’re not alone. Everyone goes through something.”
Today, Taya shares her story across the country as a renowned public speaker, spreading her message of faith, family and freedom. She became a New York Times best-selling author and founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation as a way to continue a post-deployment legacy Chris began, aiming to enhance military service, and veteran and first responder marriages.
“Every year, we’re very fortunate to bring in a speaker to share their journey with mental health,” said Dr. Dave Miers, director of behavioral health. “Taya was thrust into the spotlight after the death of her husband. In the midst of grieving, she had to overcome personal and professional challenges. Her message resonates with many who’ve lost a loved one and face an uncertain future.”
For more information on Bryan’s mental health services, visit bryanhealth.org/mental-health.