Throughout his career, Texas Stars goalie Jack Campbell has been a supporter of the American military forces and he’s always made space for the armed forces on his goalie mask.
This year Campbell is wearing a mask that honors the life of Chris Kyle, the United States Navy SEAL who was the most lethal sniper in U.S. Military History and was killed in 2013 at a shooting range. He was at the shooting range as part of his post-military efforts helping veterans with post traumatic street disorder.
Kyle’s story was widely publicized in his 2012 auto biography and the 2014 film American Sniper.
I talked with Campbell this past weekend, and he shared the story behind his new mask.
What’s the story behind your mask?
I’m a big supporter of the military and I respect the men and women that fight for our country. I put Chris Kyle on my mask. Obviously last year he had the movie and the book, and he’s just a true American hero and he’s from Texas. So I just thought that was really cool and special.
This is the skull that he put on his uniform, his and his guys. My mask artist David Gunnarsson out in Sweden did a great job. He actually helps, too. As much as I know about the book and movie, he adds a lot of great details.
We got a bunch of really cool stuff on this side, then I always do the team thing on one side. Plus I made it all dark, because I feel like Chris got his hands dirty and was a warrior, so I tried to make it intimidating as a I could.
Have you spoken to Kyle’s family about the mask?
Actually the person who handles his twitter account messaged me, and we’re going to get something going as far as foundation, something like that . We just started talking. It be really cool to work with that foundation and the Chris Kyle Foundation.
What did you take from reading his book American Sniper?
As much as I read it to be wowed by what our men and women are doing overseas, and in our country, fighting for us. The training that special operations as well as the military do, it really makes me more motivated and helps me. Seeing that they can go over and defend our country against the unknown, it makes me feel like I should never have anything to complain about over here.
You’ve always put military elements on your masks, what started that?
My trainer back home gave me Fearless, that’s another incredible book. We both read it together. At the end he gave me these dog tags, then I just kind of got obsessed with the SEALS and stuff. They get a lot of publicity, but I really appreciate all the branches. I ended up reading the book twice that summer, that was when I was 19, and it kind of took off from there. I don’t have too many things I’m really keen on. But the military is just one thing that I picked throughout my life, because it continues to wow me and to appreciate everyone that’s in it. That’s why I choose the military to put on all my masks.