On the heels of Oscar night, Taya Kyle, the widow of the author of 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle, spoke at a National Guard benefit at St. Louis Park's Beth El Synagogue.
More than 1,300 people filed into Beth El to hear from Kyle herself; some out of curiosity, many to commend her fortitude. Rabbi Alexander Davis said they chose Kyle for their "Heroes Among Us" series because her perspective resonates with many families. Plus, veterans were allowed to enter for free, and proceeds support the Minnesota National Guard and Kyle's own foundation for troops and their families.
"During the course of their service, we learned from Taya's story the loneliness and the struggles that they endure having loved ones in harm's way half way around the world," Rabbi Davis said.Kyle was involved in the making of Clint Eastwood's film adaptation of her husband's book, and the film has grossed $361,265,000 to date world wide. She told FOX411 that the most important thing she wanted to convey was that her husband was not a "stereotypical soldier," but that he "had the best qualities that you would think stereotypically would be in those two groups as far as heart and things like that."
She added that she has seen the softer side of her husband, and thought that sentiment would be important to include in the film. Kyle called the creation of the movie a gift and a blessing, and said troops and veterans have reached out to her who appreciated seeing their marriage from their perspective.
Chris Kyle was a former Navy SEAL and was considered to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. In his book, he wrote that he punched former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura after he made an offensive remark about SEALs at a California bar in 2006. That part, however, is not depicted in the movie. Ventura, a former SEAL himself, contends the confrontation never happened.
Last summer, a jury awarded Ventura $1.8 million in a defamation lawsuit. In September, Kyle's legal team announced they're be seeking a retrial, arguing that the applicable laws and evidence presented in the previous trial don't support the jury's award of damages for defamation and unjust enrichment.
MORE: Ventura: 'I wanted my reputation given back to me'