Republican Gov. Greg Abbott says he is declaring Feb. 2 as "Chris Kyle Day" in Texas to honor the late U.S. serviceman whose life is depicted in the blockbuster film "American Sniper."

Abbott made the announcement Friday while speaking to a Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in Austin. Hundreds of veterans in a hotel ballroom greeted the news with a standing ovation.

Kyle's hometown was the Fort Worth suburb of Midlothian. He was 37 when he was killed in 2013 at a North Texas gun range. A former Marine charged in his death goes on trial in Stephenville next month.

Abbott said the state will commemorate Kyle's life on Monday.

Kyle did four tours in Iraq and is considered to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history.