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2015-09-10

Texas Legislative Medals Of Honor awarded

Special to the Courier

Governor Greg Abbott recently posthumously awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to United States Navy Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle and US Army Lieutenant Colonel William Edward "Ed" Dyess. The Texas Legislative Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the state or federal military forces by the State of Texas.
"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," Abbott said.
"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."
Born and raised in Texas, Kyle was a Navy SEAL from 1999 to 2009. He has been described as "the most successful sniper in American military history."
According to his book, American Sniper, Kyle had 160 confirmed kills out of 255 claimed kills). He served as a Navy SEAL in four tours in the latest Iraq war.
For his bravery and military skills, he was awarded some of the highest medals in the US military multiple times including the Bronze and Silver Star. After leaving the SEALS in 2009, Kyle was honorably discharged. As a civilian, he started a security company called CRAFT and wrote his New York Times bestseller.
On Feb. 2, 2013, Kyle was murdered at a shooting range in Texas by a US military veteran he was trying to help.
Dyess, a World War II flier, was born August 9, 1916, in Albany. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and began assaults on Bataan and Corregidor, he was designated as commander of all flying squadrons on Bataan.
In March 1942, he sank a Japanese ship and damaged shore installations in Subic Bay. Shortly after, Dyess refused evacuation and remained with his men in the Philippines.
On April 9, 1942, after American forces surrendered to the Japanese, Dyess became a prisoner of war, surviving 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.
After regaining his health, Dyess was promoted to lieutenant colonel and resumed flying on Dec. 22, 1943. He was killed that day in Burbank, California, attempting an emergency landing and was buried in Albany.