PAT TILLMAN didn’t have to join the Army. He didn’t have to volunteer to become a Ranger. He didn’t have to go to Afghanistan and fight terrorists.
He did it anyway.
On July 12, 2002, Peggy Noonan wrote about Tillman in the Wall Street Journal:
Maybe he was thinking Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Maybe it was visceral, not so much thought as felt, and acted upon. We don’t know because he won’t say, at least not in public. Which is itself unusual. Silence is the refuge of celebrities caught in scandal, not the usual response of those caught red-handed doing good.
All we know is that 25-year-old Pat Tillman, a rising pro football player (224 tackles in 2000 as a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, a team record) came back from his honeymoon seven weeks ago and told his coaches he would turn down a three-year, $3.6 million contract and instead join the U.S. Army. For a pay cut of roughly $3.54 million dollars over three years.
US Army Ranger Pat Tillman was killed in an ambush yesterday in Afghanistan. He was 27 years old.