ESPN has written a lengthy article about the scandal that is Pat Tillman’s death. For those not in the know, Pat Tillman was a former Arizona State SunDevils and Arizona Cardinals football player who gave up a multi-million dollar NFL contract to join the US Army Rangers after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. He was killed in action and honored as a war hero.
But then the truth came out – Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The debate now is whether or not the government used Tillman’s death as positive propoganda for a bad looking war (by giving him a silver star). There is an ongoing investigation into what exactly happened and why the truth took 7 weeks to be told (Tillman’s funeral was held 5 weeks before the truth came out to the public).
Here’s my deal: I don’t care that the government played his death up. I don’t care that he was given a silver star for valor posthumously. I don’t care about what the investigation returns. Do I disagree with the way it was originally handled? Sure – who wouldn’t? But none of this changes the way that I feel about Tillman as a man.
Regardless of whether or not Pat Tillman had died or had returned home, he is the definition of an American Hero. A man who was pissed off that the USA would be attacked and wanted to do something about it. A man who gave up millions of dollars in order to lay down in trenches and take enemy fire.
All US soldiers are heroes to me. But Tillman willingly gave up fame, fortune, and a relatively easy life in order to protect us all. So regardless of the current investigation’s outcome, I will continue to wear my ASU #42 Tillman jersey proudly.
[tags]Pat Tillman, ESPN, Hero[/tags]