Texas creates 'Chris Kyle Day' to honour the American sniper

Monday 2 February will honour the late Navy SEAL sharpshooter currently portrayed by Bradley Cooper in ‘American Sniper’

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The Independent US

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared Monday 2 February will henceforth be ‘Chris Kyle Day’ in the state, in honour of the Navy SEAL whose story is dramatised in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated box office hit, American Sniper.

Kyle, who had the most confirmed “kills” during the course of his military service, was shot and killed by a disgruntled US veteran on a Texas gun range in 2013.

Abbott, a Republican, made the announcement during a speech at the Texans Veterans of Foreign Affairs Mid-Winter Convention in Austin, according to a statement from the governor's office.

“In honor of a Texas son, a Navy SEAL and an American hero - a man who defended his brothers and sisters in arms on and off the battlefield - I am declaring February 2nd Chris Kyle Day in Texas,” Abbott said during the speech, according to the statement.

bradley-cooper.jpgAmerican Sniper is based on Kyle’s own book of the same name and stars Bradley Cooper as the sharpshooter. It took just under $100 million in the world box office sales on its opening weekend, and has been nominated six Oscars, including Best Picture.

The film, which has sparked fierce debate between the left and the right, is set to be named the top-grossing war film of all time.

Additional reporting by Reuters News Agency