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.
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'