Seven years ago yesterday, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was murdered.

He was shot and killed, alongside his buddy Chad Littlefield, by Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine with serious mental problems. They had gone to a range to shoot some targets and unwind in an effort to help Routh battle his demons.

Chris left behind a wife and two children.

Known as the “Legend,” Chris’s exploits as a sniper in Iraq are famous. You can read more about them in his book American Sniper. Despite the fame that his extraordinary marksmanship brought him, Chris remained a humble, down-to-earth man. He repeatedly stated that his job in Iraq during the toughest months of the insurgency wasn’t to kill bad guys but to save the lives of the good guys.

A friend of SOFREP, Chris had participated in the first Team Room series. Watching him laugh and recount his time on the SEAL Teams made him approachable — you felt you knew the guy. His death, thus, was that much more striking. I vividly remember Jack’s post announcing Chris’s death. SOFREP at that point was just a blog. The exclusive coverage on the Benghazi attacks a few months prior had lit the flame, but we were still finding our feet. Chris’s death, however, achieved something extraordinary: it brought people out of the woods. At that moment of grief, original Team Room members and new readers came together in the thousands to celebrate and remember Chris. On that day there was no division, no drama — only patriotism and pride.

This is what SOFREP is all about.

Read Navy SEAL Eric Davis’ moving tribute to Chris here.