A year ago this Sunday, I woke up around four a.m. as I often do, and went into my office to get some work done before my official day of rest. My phone was blinking with calls. I picked it up and saw that there were not only a number of missed calls but many texts as well. I started scrolling through, and didn't believe what I was reading.
My friend Chris Kyle had been murdered.
I still don't believe it, really. A part of me wants to think it's just a very, very sick joke. But the larger part of me knows it's true. The best among us are the first to leave.
People have asked me what the best way is to remember Chris. I say you can honor him by following his advice: Make a difference with little things. See a veteran, thank a veteran. Lend a hand to a serviceman's wife or kid - cut the grass, babysit. Spend a little time with a wounded warrior, or an older neighbor. Be yourself, generously.
Chris will forever be known as the greatest American sniper up through the Iraq war and probably beyond, but that doesn't capture a tenth of who he was. And that's a message for all of us: You don't have to be a high achiever or the absolute best at what you do to make a difference in people's lives.
It was my great honor and privilege to know Chris Kyle, and by God's grace I will do my bit to keep his memory alive.