AUSTIN –– In a building that is a cornerstone of Texas history came a tribute to a proud Texas son.
Chad Littlefield never lived outside the Lone Star State.
"He lived the quintessential quiet, American life," said Texas Sen. Brian Birdwell of Granbury. "He had no expectation of notoriety and was an example to all of us."
Littlefield was killed at a gun range alongside former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in February.
All of the attention on the state House and Senate floors probably would have made Littlefield uncomfortable, but it was done to bring comfort to those who mourn. His widow, mother, father and brother stood together, choking back tears, as Littlefield's life was recounted to senators and representatives.
"Chad described himself as just a regular guy, but his family and friends will tell you he was much more than that. They describe him as a rock," said Texas Rep. Jim Pitts of Ennis as he read the resolution on the House floor. "He was dependable, responsible -- someone who was there for you if you need them."
Littlefield died beside his closest friend, Kyle. Littlefield did not serve, but had deep respect for those who did. He and Kyle were killed as they tried to help a struggling veteran.
That led Rep. Pitts to fight for and secure more funding for services for the mentally ill.
"I think their deaths put something in my heart that I want to not let them go in vain," he said. "Maybe we can do something good for people in the future."
He said he hoped the family realizes the state of Texas is grieving with them. Each representative and senator filed past the Littlefields, offering their condolences. Some gave a handshake, others a hug.
"Although Chad's life ended too soon, he leaves behind a legacy that will be forever treasured by all those who were privileged to know him," read the Senate resolution.
Littlefield's mother and father said it was a true honor to hear such things said about their son inside the Texas Capitol. But they quickly added they'd give it all back in a heartbeat, just to have him with them again.