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When I’m not writing articles like this, my day job is producing “Cam and Company” (Cam being Cam Edwards, not me; I’m in the Company) on NRA News. The job has allowed me to work with very talented people, travel the country extensively, and occasionally interview politicians, celebrities, and everyday Americans.
Every year, we take NRA News to Las Vegas to broadcast live from the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show, or the SHOT Show. They’re always star-studded broadcasts, and being in Vegas doesn’t suck.
Four years ago at SHOT Show, I had the honor of interviewing Chris Kyle, the subject of the film American Sniper. Chris was shy and soft-spoken, the kind of guy who never admitted that he was truly a hero. I got the impression that he wasn’t a fan of doing interviews, but he was gracious enough to give me one, and it turned out great. Here it is:
A year and a month later, Chris was killed. He and his friend, Chad Littlefield were trying to help a third man, Eddie Ray Routh, deal with his PTSD. In exchange for their kindness, Routh killed them both at a shooting range.
These were, of course, murders that shocked the nation. Having just talked to Chris the previous year, it really got to me too. Such a senseless crime against people just trying to help someone in obvious need. Chris was the nicest guy to me, and it made no sense that anyone would want to hurt him. But, as I know all too well, mental illness never makes sense.
On January 7 of this year, CNN had a town hall on guns with President Obama. CNN flew people in from all over the country, representing all sides of the debates over guns in America, to talk to the President. Host Anderson Cooper gave the first question to Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s wife. It was a great question, asked by a confident, well spoken woman, seemingly not at all phased by the President.
I became an instant fan of Taya’s, as did many other people who first saw her on CNN that night. I thought to myself that after meeting and interviewing Chris, it would be great to meet and interview Taya one day. Sometimes, life is funny.
Last week, we were once again in Las Vegas for the SHOT Show. So was Taya. As you can imagine, she is a very popular and busy woman, with little time for interviews. Her publicist graciously carved out some time for us to do an interview on NRA News. The interview was to be conducted by “Cam and Company” host Cam Edwards. I was going to be happy to just shake her hand.
Then, the Blizzard of 2016 hit the East Coast, hard. We are based in DC and there were legitimate concerns about getting back to Washington. It was decided that Cam would leave Las Vegas early so as to be in DC, ensuring show continuity. That left the Taya Kyle interview to me. I was thrilled; not only would I get to meet her, but I would get to interview her. Here is the interview:
At the end, I mentioned that it was emotional for me to interview Taya, after once interviewing Chris. It truly was. My wife was in Las Vegas with me, and after I got off the set, I went over to cry on her shoulder. I don’t know how to explain my emotions, but there was just something about being able to once speak with Chris, then four years later, Taya. It mean a lot to me.
I have had many great moments and experiences during my 25-plus years in broadcasting. Interviewing Chris and Taya Kyle were both career highlights.
Please click the link to donate to The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.Published in