And, yes, Ventura was a braggart, especially with a few beers in him, Burbank says. “Jesse Ventura is so erratic, anyway. He’s an erratic character. And if you’re going to look at his participation in [our wars] versus Chris Kyle’s participation, Chris Kyle eclipses him by 10,000 percent. Jesse was just a grunt in a SEAL team for one tour.”
And yet, Nicholas Schmidle in the New Yorker reports that Kyle made claims of derring-do back home that are scarcely credible: that he shot two would-be carjackers, that he set up atop the New Orleans Superdome after Hurricane Katrina and shot dozens of armed residents. Police have no records of these claimed vigilante episodes.
“Look, the pressure to keep on being the hero is there, even for a bona fide hero like Kyle,” Burbank says.
Is it possible Kyle fabricated his Ventura story to impress his admirers?
“It is. I think he could have embellished some stories. Even though he didn’t really need to, with his record.”
What does Burbank think about Ventura insisting on pursuing the lawsuit even now, after Kyle has died?
“That’s not very kind or generous, to sue the widow of a dead Navy SEAL. He’s saying things out of school that he didn’t have to. He’s in the wrong. He’s already transgressed against his brother. We have that brotherhood thing going in the teams. I’d tell him just to drop the case.”