Shocking new documents claim that late "American Sniper" Chris Kyle lied about his accomplishments and exaggerated his military record.
The slain Navy SEAL stated in his best-selling 2012 memoir, American Sniper, "I would end my career as a SEAL with two Silver Stars and five Bronze, all for valor." Kyle's DD-214 form, the official form service members receive upon discharge, seems to prove his claim.
The Silver Star is considered a prestigious honor and is the third-highest military decoration. Receiving two Silver Stars is rare and would have placed Kyle in a "very unique and small group," Doug Sterner, author and Vietnam veteran said.
The memoir not only made Kyle a best-selling author and celebrity, but it was adapted into an award-winning movie starring Bradley Cooper. It became the highest-grossing war film of all time.
"The SEAL leadership was aware of the embellishment, but didn't want to correct the record because Kyle's celebrity status reflected well on the command," a former Navy SEAL officer told The Intercept.
If proven, the lie would violate the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a crime to falsely claim that you've received military honors in order to profit.
The man considered the deadliest U.S. sniper had been questioned about lying in his memoir. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura was awarded $1.845 million in damages after claiming Kyle lied about fighting him in a bar in 2006. Kyle claimed the former governor said the Navy SEAL "deserved to lose a few" in war.
Ventura responded to the new allegations about Kyle.
"Nothing about this surprises me. Anything that comes to light about him, I wouldn't be surprised about," he said.
Kyle was tragically murdered in 2013 by a mentally ill ex-marine.