Pat Tillman,Hero

Pat350I’ m a big fan of Pat Tillman. I have just finished the book:  Boots on the Ground By Dusk by  Mary Tillman and Narda Zacchino. Mary Tillman is Pat’s mom. I really wasn’t a fan and had never even really heard about him until I read in 1992 that he decided to give up his Pro Football career to enlist in the Army as a Ranger. Because of that I, along with a lot of others grew in admiration for him for his actions. Then, we were all shocked and saddened by his death in Afghanistan April 22, 2004. Then later, we were again shocked  to find out he was not killed by enemy fire as first reported but by friendly fire. Then, incredibly, it was uncovered that the Army big-whigs engineered the cover-up and giving of false information.

By all accounts Pat Tillman was a man who exemplified courage, loyalty, integrity, and love of country.  For instance, when his contract with the Arizona Cardinals was up, he turned down a $9 million per year to play for the Rams and took way less to stay with the Cardinals because he felt they had given him a shot to play where no one else had and he felt loyal to them.

Then, after 9-11,  since several of his relatives had served their country, he asked himself: what have I done? As a result he and his brother Kevin (pictured above with Pat) decided to enlist, Pat turning away from a 3 year, $3.6 million a year contract to make probably about $23,000 a year.

Mary Tillman’s book is a great read that I couldn’t put down. I  read  it all in one day. The book is primarily about Pat, about his life ,and his character. It’s brimming full of inside stories that only his mother would know. The bulk of the book describes the stories from several different memorial services. Stories that will make you weep,  that will make you proud to be an American, and that will make you feel good that integrity is still alive and well. These testimonies are told by  NFL and college coaches and players, Rangers, SEALS , Delta Force guys, and friends and family of Pat.

The book secondarily chronicles the Tillman families  search for the truth concerning his death,  the subsequent cover-up, and their push for accountability for what happened that day in the Middle East. I certainly don’t agree with Mrs. Tillman’s politics (for an alternative view read Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell). Her Bush bashing gets a little old.

The book really made me think because God is really not a  part of the Tillman family as far as I could tell. But can I as a Christian learn from Pat Tillman? Yes. His examples of integrity, loyalty, single-mindedness,hard work, thoughtfulness, and humility are amazing. Every Christian would do well to read the book just for lessons in the above. Google Pat Tillman and spend some time reading some of the hits.

Mrs Tillman is an educator and thus the book is extremely well written. I pray that through her relentlessness, the truth will be revealed, and justice will be meted out.

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