View Full Version : US Army Ranger (ex NFL US football player) killed in Afghanistan

23rd Apr 2004, 17:33
Sad news in the US

Apparently official word will be out later today

Pat Tillman was a NFL (US football) player for the Arizona Cardinals

In early 2001, he turned down $9 million (US), 5 year deal from another team due to his loyalty to the Cardinals

In early 2002, he turned down a $3.6 million (US), 3 year deal from his team, and with his brother, enlisted in the US Army for $18,000 a year. (May 2002 story link (http://espn.go.com/nfl/columns/pasquarelli_len/1387154.html) )

It was no stunt. He refused all interview requests since starting basic training.

It is reported that he was killed today Afghanistan

news (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040423/D824KL5G0.html)

news (http://news.yahoo.com/fc?tmpl=fc&cid=34&in=us&cat=us_armed_forces)

24th Apr 2004, 16:34
From what I hear, this is huge news in the US. There was even a report in the Wall Street Journal by Peggy Noonan about how many children of the affluent are enlisting/commissioned into the military following Sept 11. Despite, or perhaps because of, Iraq, re-enlistments are UP in the army. I personally know one man who turned down what would have been a hefty NFL contract from the Indianapolis Colts to sign up with the SEALS.

Wonder if Tillman's death is getting airplay in England?

Kiting for Boys
24th Apr 2004, 17:07
It has been well covered in the UK. Front Page mentions with pictures.

Sounds like a braver man than me.

24th Apr 2004, 17:15
Indeed 46. This is from the front of today's London Times.

Death of the all-American boy - From Roland Watson in Washington.

Sports star who joined Army is killed as US counts the cost of war.

PAT TILLMAN was an all-American kid.

As a boy in Georgia he high-dived from bridges and cliffs. He won a college football scholarship, became defensive player of the year and was signed by the Arizona Cardinals. Handsome, muscular and clean-cut, he had a fabulous future ahead of him. But then came the September 11 terrorist attacks.

In the patriotic fervour that followed one of America’s darkest days the young man gave everything up in order to serve his country.

He walked away from a $3.6 million (£2 million) contract with the Cardinals to enlist with his brother in the elite Army Rangers on a salary of just $18,000. He did so days after returning from his honeymoon. He did so without making any public statement or giving a single interview. He turned down a place as an officer, preferring to start at the bottom.

Yesterday came news that the all-American kid had become a genuine all-American hero. Tillman, 27, had fallen in battle. He was killed in a gunfight in southeast Afghanistan where American special forces are hunting Osama bin Laden, the man who prompted him to swap his football jersey and protective padding for a uniform and suit of body armour...............

It quickly became clear last night, that even in this idealistic nation, Tillman was in a league of his own when it came to duty, public spiritedness and patriotism. He excelled at football even though he was relatively small. He was tough on the field but laid-back off it, and in a game of hyper-inflated egos and salaries he stood out for his modesty and lack of pretension.

He walked away from the life of multimillion-dollar glory in 2002 because, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, he wanted to “pay something back” for his comfortable life. Friends knew that September 11 had affected him deeply, but he never laid it on. To those who pressed, he said that he was doing it for personal reasons.

Tillman’s act was in keeping with a life that defied the caricatures of cossetted sport stars. He refused to own a mobile phone and drove a second-hand car. He was offered a $9 million, five-year contract with the St Louis Rams after they won the Superbowl, but Tillman, a defensive safety, wanted to stay loyal to the Cardinals despite their status as, at best, a middling National Football League team. Dave McGinnis, former Cardinals head coach, said: “Pat knew his purpose in life. He proudly walked away from a career in football to a greater calling.”

West Coast
24th Apr 2004, 17:27
Politics aside you have to admire a man who led a life of privledge and walked away from it for what he believed was a noble cause. As mentioned, I don't know if I have that same metal. I used to think it was a mistake for me to leave the Marine reserves years ago when I did. Then as I saw the deployment rates soar I thought it to be a wise decision. Now I'm not so sure again and feel some what selfish in light of the sacrafices made by all.

24th Apr 2004, 18:17
WC, don't beat yourself up over it. You did what you had to do and you did your service.

Pat Tillman was an extraordinary young man allright. RIP.

24th Apr 2004, 18:31
He is in good company, with many who have served with distinction and a selfless regard for their families, friends and Country, past and present.

Duty and patriotism are terms sneered at these days but I can't help but acknowledge of all that he gave up for the most altruistic of motives with the brain dead dogma of the cheap, life hating terrorist scum he was fighting.

I am reluctant to mention them in the same paragraph as his name. Both prepared to lay down their lives, but while Pat Tillman represented honour and inspiration, the lice who strap bombs around themselves to kill innocents, and all their terrorist ilk, cheapen and debase human life every step of their sad, empty, psychopathic lives. What a contrast !

Boss Raptor
24th Apr 2004, 21:39
Wonder if any of the recent UK dead in Iraq have got 'airplay' in the USA - I doubt it...please dont even try that one!

Brave guy but not the only one...one that the US press has chosen to expand upon it seems...but a good guy all the same and one who should be remembered as they all should.

25th Apr 2004, 05:34
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. -- General George S. Patton

Boss this ought to cover them all. May they rest in peace and remembered for their bravery.

25th Apr 2004, 05:56
Plenty of air time for this courageous man here in Oz too. One can only admire a person who gave up a life that most of us could only wish for in order to go and fight for his principles. Rest in peace.

26th Apr 2004, 16:32
Speaking of bravery,how about the marines who walks the streets to draw fire upon them so their mates could pinpoint where the bullets are coming from?

26th Apr 2004, 22:38
Question: is direct recruitment to Special Forces allowed in all USMil branches?

Example - AFAIK you have to have two years service in a regular battalion before applying to UK SAS.

27th Apr 2004, 03:13
Thanks for that Patton quote, Nani - you remind me of why I come to PPrune in the first place. I find a nugget in the silt every once in a while.