The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

February 4, 2013

Iraq War vet accused in shooting on suicide watch

(Continued)

FORT WORTH, Texas —

He is now in the individual ready reserve, which basically means he's a civilian. He could be called to duty, but it's uncommon unless he volunteers, said 1st Lt. Dominic Pitrone of the Marine Forces Services public affairs office.

Travis Cox, director of FITCO Cares — the nonprofit that Kyle set up to give in-home fitness equipment to physically and emotionally wounded veterans — said he believes that Kyle and Littlefield were helping Routh work through PTSD.

Cox said Routh's mother may have asked Kyle to help her son, but Cox didn't know how Routh and Kyle knew each other. He said the shooting range event was not a FITCO session.

Lt. Cmdr. Rorke Denver, who served with Kyle in Iraq in 2006, wasn't surprised that Kyle apparently used a shooting range to help someone with PTSD.

"For us, for warriors, that's a skill set that has become very familiar, very comfortable for us," said Denver, a lieutenant commander in a reserve SEAL team. "So I actually see it as kind of a perfect use of Chris' unique skill set and expertise of which he has very few peers."

Kyle, 38, left the Navy in 2009 after four tours of duty in Iraq, where he earned a reputation as one of the military's most lethal snipers. Littlefield, 35, was Kyle's friend, neighbor and "workout buddy," and also volunteered his time to work with veterans, Cox said.

FITCO Cares offered life coaching for veterans, a daily support group and weekly group counseling. Sometimes veterans in other states would video conference in to counseling sessions, Cox said.

"He (Kyle) didn't have any fear at all as far as working with an extreme case," Cox said. "Just like in combat he would take it on head-on and do whatever he could to give these guys assistance."

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