Pat Tillman was a reluctant soldier who disagreed with the war policies of the Bush administration and wasn’t afraid to say so, according to a new book by Jon Krakauer, who reexamines the life and tragic death of the former Arizona Cardinals safety. Why then did Tillman give up millions in a successful NFL career to join the army, and then later refuse to be discharged when he had an opportunity to do so?
Tillman, who was tragically killed in an ambush in an Afghanistan village in 2004, was a complicated individual who put honor and country above everything, says Krakauer in his book, “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.” It’s a story of the man who was inspired to to serve in the military after the events of 9-11, his disillusionment with the mission afterward, and the army coverup surrounding his death.
With all the discussion this summer about things like health care reform, cash-for-clunkers, and our country’s faltering economy, it might be easy to forget sometimes that the men and women of our armed forces have been fighting wars in two nasty, inhospitable countries far, far away for the better part of eight years now. As hard as people think it might be to give up salary for unpaid furloughs or other hardships Americans have had to endure lately, it pales in comparison to getting shipped halfway around the world to get shot at in 130-degree heat.
It’s hard to believe that someone would willingly choose that as a job, yet millions of heroic Americans who believe in their country and what it stands for voluntarily sign on to keep our nation safe from our enemies. It’s especially hard to believe that people would give up seemingly everything to do it, but that’s exactly what former Miami Heat first-round draft pick Tim James did.
We talk a lot about heroes. Whether it’s in a movie, TV show, or novel, heroes abound. We like heroes; nay, we want to be heroes, and that’s why we watch those movies. We then take our love of heroes and ascribe heroic properties to athletes, politicians, and a host of other people who generally don’t deserve it.
You know what, though? Some people do deserve it. While many people end up in the military for the college cash or job training despite the sacrifice and occupational hazards, Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman turned his back on a lucrative NFL career for the chance to serve his country; nothing more, nothing less. And now on April 21, 2009, as COLLEGE FOOTBALL TALK points out, it has been five years since Tillman was killed by friendly fire and the circumstances of his death covered up by the United States Army. Read more…
An Oklahoma football player has said so long to the Sooners, so he can sign up to serve his country.
Scott Wright of the OKLAHOMAN reports that Britt Mitchell, a freshman offensive lineman for OU, left the football team last week in order to enlist with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Are workouts with Bob Stoops so intolerable that you’d rather hitch up with the Marines? OU SID Kenny Mossman explains that a military career for Mitchell “has been attractive to him for some time“, and that the Sooners’ coaching staff give Britt their “full support“.
However, Wright comes off as a little snippy that Mitchell would dare turn his back on the Sooner Schooner:
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No wonder the Rocket’s been so randy with Mindy & all those other girls.
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Pat Graham of the ASSOCIATED PRESS gives a softball treatment to a new book written by Denver Bronco Jason Elam and someone named Steve Yohn.
PLOT: “The main character in Elam’s novel is Riley Covington, a bruising linebacker and Air Force lieutenant loosely based on former Broncos reserve Steve Russ, now an assistant coach at Syracuse University. Covington is an Air Force Academy graduate — just like Russ — who plays for the fictional Colorado Mustangs, a team in the Pro Football League. Following a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Covington, a third-round pick of the Mustangs, is living out his dream of playing professional football when he gets dragged back into his former life as a member of a special operations squad. Covington is sent back overseas to help stop escalating terrorist attacks.”
Actually, sounds more like Pat Tillman to us. AP Writer Graham claims the book is getting glowing reviews, then cites three quotes, two of which belong to celebrated literary experts Tony Dungy and Deanna Favre.
And we’re sure Broncos fans will be disappointed by the tome, considering there’s no mention of the Maurice Clarett training camp waterboarding episode.