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Hannity

Chris Kyle's widow reflects on Navy SEAL's legacy

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 16, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome back to a special edition of "Hannity." That was a clip from "American Sniper." Now, Chris Kyle's wife, Taya, spent a lot of time with both Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller to help them prepare for their roles in this movie. Now, Taya also gave both actors access to her personal home videos of Chris. And she joins us now to explain more.

Taya, thanks for being with us. I really appreciate it. I guess if I was going to be portrayed in a movie, Bradley Cooper would be pretty good, and Sienna Miller is pretty good, too. There's a positive side to this.  How real do you think they were? How -- do you think captured your relationship? Was that a real clip?

T. KYLE: Yes, you know, I think they did a phenomenal job, honestly.  And of course, taking a person's life and putting it into two hours, you have to condense some things and portray some things with the right sentiment and maybe not the exact verbiage.

But honestly, even the words are probably accurate over a long period of time, if you condensed it. Certainly, it gets the sentiment right. And then Bradley and Sienna both just did a phenomenal job as far as dialect and manners and the heart and soul. It could not be more spot on.

HANNITY: Yes, honestly -- and I know that Chris's dad wasn't as happy as you were with the film. Let's talk about life at home because he had all of these deployments, more confirmed kills than any other U.S. soldier.  I mean, it's a pretty amazing accomplishment. And each one of those saved people's lives.

When he came home, did he talk about what happened? Did he say, I had to make this choice, killing a kid, killing a woman? Did he ever tell you about it?

T. KYLE: Yes, he told me about his experiences, but they were in clips, and it was during certain times -- it could be just a drive down the freeway, or a lot of times, it was when we were with friends or somebody else, and he would just let his guard down a little bit in time.

But a lot of the reason he didn't share things as they were happening with me is he didn't want to scare me, and he knew he'd be going back. So as much as I would tell him that my imagination is pretty powerful, and you know, I watched the news and the coverage and I'm not naive to what would happen over there, he felt pretty strongly that there was a time and a place to let me in on more.

And so that happened as the days went by. And certainly, even after he got out, we talked about more. But his protective nature is not something that he can really pull back. And that's part of it, was him not wanting to scare me.

HANNITY: So that was really a real clip inasmuch as after -- what, he had four deployments? After those deployments, you know, he wants to go back because in his mind, he's thinking, I've got more guys I've got to save, because he knows the danger that they're in and he knows he saved their lives. Was that real?

T. KYLE: You know, it always -- yes, absolutely. And part of the beauty of Chris is that he wouldn't say those things to me, like, Honey, I'm saving lives over there. I'm making a huge difference -- although I would hear those stories from other people. And you know, I know that's what he's doing. And I would learn more over time.

But you know, when it got to the point where it was time, it wasn't just me saying, It's time because I need you. Yes, that was absolutely a big part of it. The other part of it was I was watching his blood pressure go through the roof, his body take a beating, his soul, you know, taking a hit. And really, they don't typically deploy people back-to-back-to-back for 10 years, like they did with Chris. Usually, you would have a shore duty in between, you know, some time for -- to decompress or have the family get some time together.

But with him -- you know, I think the exact words I heard were "needs of the Navy." And that's not the people he served directly with in his platoon or his team, but there are people right outside of that, like a master chief, who maybe hasn't seen combat, who's making those decisions, and he felt like they needed Chris there.

And I don't want to drag this on too long, but I will tell you that Chris did -- even after he got out, there was always a bittersweet part of that, you know, the part he did always feel like he let his country down in not continuing to be on the battlefield, regardless of the cost.

HANNITY: And what an incredible hero and record. It's hard to imagine that he felt he didn't do enough. I want to talk about the hard part of this because -- explain when he finally decided, All right, I'm going to stay home, I got my wife, I got my kids. He struggled a little bit, at least according to the depiction in the film. And he found an outlet for this. And that leads us to a really heart-wrenching, sad ending. Talk about that in your own words and the lead-up to that.

T. KYLE: You know, it's a really interesting thing. And Chris was a very intelligent person, even though he never liked me to say that to people. But you know, he did go through a hard time, and I think it took us both by surprise. He knew he would have a hard time getting out, but to the level that it was difficult was surprising to me.

But what we learned and what I heard him say later on, you know, toward the end of his life, was he would tell people, I'm never going to tell somebody to get out of the military, but I will tell them if they choose to and they need to, they will find more joy and contentment in their family than they ever imagined.

And I feel like that's a pretty powerful statement and it encourages people, you know, to know that there are -- there -- there is more to life than just what they have there. And I want to be very clear that I'm not saying they shouldn't serve, and Chris wasn't saying that.

HANNITY: Yes.

T. KYLE: It's just, if they needed to, you know, comforting them in that, it's OK, there will be life after this. But I think everybody goes through a year or two of really difficult time transitioning back to the lack of the brotherhood, the lack of having people who would die for you in your workplace every day. It's a huge transition.

HANNITY: Explain -- you know, it's so sad, considering all that he'd been through and all the time that he spent in theater, in a war zone.  Explain the circumstances surrounding his death.

T. KYLE: You know, I'll never know a way to justify it or have it make sense. You know, I still have the few sentences that run through my mind without me being able to really control them and it doesn't make any sense or I don't understand. And I think that's a common thing for people who are grieving or who lose someone unexpectedly to feel for quite a long time. 

I think the horror of it really is that, you know, this man, this evil took the lives of two really good men. You know, Chad Littlefield was a father and husband and a good friend, and Chris was the same. And they were just there trying to help him. So I think the horror of it is that they were there trying to help and that somebody could turn his gun and intentionally kill two people in cold blood. And that's where the horror is, I think, for me. And at the same time I think maybe it was always in some way Chris was going to die the way he lived, serving others, because that was such a big part of him. 

HANNITY: Listen, Taya, thank you for being with us. Your husband was a great hero. I mean, I think everybody should see this movie. It is an amazing tribute to Chris, to the military, and also to people like yourself because you sacrifice a lot as well as did your kids in the process allowing these guys to serve their country the way they do. So thank you for being with us, really appreciate it. 

T. KYLE: Thank you, Sean. I will say that maybe it's not just our story. It's a story of a lot of veterans, too. And I hope they feel that way when they see it. 

HANNITY: Well said. Thank you so much, Taya, appreciate it. 

KYLE: Thank you.

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