Taya Kyle Will Accept the Award 

FORT WORTH, Texas – Chris Kyle will be posthumously awarded the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Great American Patriot Award. Presented by Armed Forces Insurance, the Great American Patriot Award honors a candidate in recognition of their exemplary service to the United States. 

“Chris Kyle embodies every ideal of the Great American Patriot Award,” said Brant Ringler, Executive Director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. “I truly encourage our community to make this award presentation one of the most memorable ever by being a part of this special moment honoring a true American hero.”

Kyle is considered the most decorated Navy SEAL sniper in history. He served four tours of duty in the Iraq War, and was awarded numerous commendations and personal awards. His best-selling autobiography, “American Sniper”, was made into the 2012 hit movie starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood.

The award will be accepted on his behalf by Kyle’s wife, Taya Kyle, during halftime of the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on December 23, 2016.

“Chris loved: the Armed Forces and the work they do for our country, Football and Texas. To be invited to accept the Great American Patriot Award on his behalf at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl - in Texas - is a really great honor,” said Chris Kyle’s wife, Taya Kyle.

Candidates for the award must be of high moral fiber and good character, having spent their lives and/or careers serving the common good of the United States. They should have gone beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country, with proven dedication and loyalty in upholding the Constitution and the laws of the nation. Finally, the Great American Patriot Award winner should have worked tirelessly to make the U.S. a better and safer place for all its citizens.

"Armed Forces Insurance is honored to recognize Chris Kyle as the 2016 recipient of the Great American Patriot Award," stated Lieutenant General Garry L. Parks, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), Chairman of Armed Forces Insurance. “Chris Kyle is truly an American hero, a valiant warrior and a man who selflessly dedicated his life to serving our nation and our nation’s citizens. This amazing warrior continued to serve our country even after he left the Navy Seals; he worked with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of law enforcement, veterans with disabilities, those suffering from PTSD and Gold Star Families. Our nation owes Chris, and his dedicated wife, Taya, an enormous amount of gratitude."

Kyle will join a selective group of previous Great American Patriot Award recipients, including General Mark Welsh, General Peter Pace, Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta, Admiral William McRaven and General Norton A. Schwartz, among others.

Chris Kyle was born in Odessa, Texas; and grew up near Fort Worth in the suburb of Midlothian. In 1999, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL school and was assigned to SEAL Team 3 were he became a Sniper.

After his four tours in Iraq, he retired in 2009 and switched his focus to assisting military and first responders in tactics and in finding peace post service. 

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest adventure areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; and the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance.

The bowl game also created and operates the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America. For additional information about the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, please visit or

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 13 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

About Armed Forces Insurance 

AFI was founded in 1887 by military leaders with a single mission: to protect the property of those who protect our nation. The company provides premium quality, competitively priced property and casualty insurance to military professionals throughout the United States and overseas. Armed Forces Insurance understands that its members have unique circumstances and insurance needs, enabling the company to offer a level of personalized custom service that's unequalled in the industry. For more information, visit the website at or call 1-800-495-8234.

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; 13 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl(Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl(Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Orlando, Fla.); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball 

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy(Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Uncasville, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off(Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (New York City) and Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan)

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