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Copyright by John T. Reed
Pat Tillman was a football player who left a multi-million dollar NFL contract to become a U.S. Army Ranger and volunteer for tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was killed in Afghanistan by one of men in his platoon.
Two or three crimes were committed during and after Tillman’s death:
1. The “elite” U.S. Army Rangers at the scene behaved in an incompetent, unprofessional, childish, reckless manner that directly resulted in Tillman’s death. The top commander on the scene was possibly incompetent and negligent in allowing his men to engage in the above behavior.
2. When the Rangers on the scene realized they had killed Tillman, they immediately assumed the Army wanted to cover up what happened and why because the truth would reveal the above described incompetence, lack of professionalism, lack of “elite-ness,” immaturity, recklessness, and negligence. At the very least, they were certain they were going to pass the buck on who would reveal this bad news to the world up to higher headquarters. As the news went up the chain of command all the way to the Commander in Chief (president), each level decided to continue the already-initiated cover-up.
3. When the cover-up was discovered, almost every person involved except for a couple of privates in Tillman’s squad claimed they could not recall anything and that there was no cover-up; just honest errors on communicating details to the Tillman family and media.
The specific details of what happened are not available because almost everyone involved refuses to talk or claims amnesia. So I will discuss the crimes crudely. Until the sons of bitches who did this provide details, that’s all they deserve.
Manslaughter: the unlawful killing of another without malice, in the commission of some unlawful act. What was the unlawful act? Spraying lethal gun fire at unknown human beings on a hillside.
Involuntary manslaughter: Killing another while committing a non-felony crime and not intending to do great bodily harm or killing another while committing a lawful act without proper caution or requisite skill, unguardedly or undesignedly
Negligent homicide: This is killing someone by negligently operating a motor vehicle. There ought to be a weapon equivalent.
Covering up killing Tillman
Lying, lying to investigators, ordering others to refuse to talk about what happened, destroying evidence, destroying private property (Pat Tillman’s diary which might also have contained evidence), signing false documents, perjury, hindering investigators
Hypocrisy is not a crime, but most of the liars in the Pat Tillman incident were West Point graduates. (I am a West Point graduate also.) At West Point, we had to memorize the Cadet Prayer. It says in part,
Suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretence [sic] ever to diminish
There is no evidence that this prayer was answered in the cases of these officers. If you look up “hypocrisy” in the dictionary, their pictures ought to be next to the definition.
The only punishment anyone suffered was that the Army censured and reduced the rank of retired, three-star General Philip Kensinger to two stars which slightly reduced his retirement pay. In The Tillman Story movie, a reporter noted the suspicious nature of al the active-duty suspects getting off scot free while the only retired suspect gets stuck with the sole blame. With a straight face, the Army Inspector General denied that had anything to do with the assignment of blame.
The audience in the theater, which was in Berkeley, CA, laughed out loud— including me. I had previously laughed out loud at the Army Inspector Generals when I was a platoon leader in Vietnam. I could not get needed supplies and when I tried to follow up on requisitions, I was told to stop—even though Army regulations required that I follow up. I sent a letter about it to the Chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. He wrote back that I should report the matter to the Army Inspector General. I laughed out loud at that and threw his letter in the trash. You mean the career Army General who is only going to spend a couple of years before he returns to normal assignments? The inspector general who really only finds fault with low-level private, sergeants, and lieutenants? The inspector general who is himself a lifer who has been going along to get along in this system for his entire adult life? Yeah, I’m dumb enough to do that.
The makers of the Tillman Story movie got the cooperation of the Tillman family, albeit after great initial reluctance on the family’s part. Indeed,during the question and answer period after the screening I attended in Berkeley, director Amir Bar-Lev said Pat Tillman’s youngest brother Richard initially refused to talk to Bar-Lev. But he later was publicly quoted as saying he regretted not talking to the director. Although the film was finished at that point, Bar-Lev immediately re-opened it and interviewed Richard who plays a big part in the final film.
I got a sense watching the film, knowing a little bit about Pat’s mom Mary Tillman, and listening to Bar-Lev at the screening that the Tillman family had an extremely strong vision of the only discussion of Pat they could stand: Total honesty, no lionization, no making Pat out to be different than he really was. Richard’s “eulogy,” which is in the movie, makes that about as clear as it could possibly be made. I further have the impression that Bar-Lev very much wanted the cooperation of the Tillman family and he agreed to their vision to get it. The film seems true to the Tillman family’s view of Pat and the events surrounding his death.
Is that good or bad?
Film makers typically want to tell a great story. But a “story” generally has a certain format—especially in Hollywood: hero, villain(s), hero’s compulsion, hero encounters obstacles to fulfilling his compulsion, hero overcomes final obstacle and succeeds.
Real life, typically does not follow that format. Hollywood generally says screw real life, tell a great story even if it’s not true. For example, in Knute Rockne All-American (which starred Ronald Reagan and featured his “Win one for the Gipper” line), Rockne is the Notre Dame coach and George “The Gipper” Gipp is the star of the game and the featured game is Notre Dame’s 1913 victory over Army (my alma mater). The victory happened. But Knute Rockne was not the coach. He was a receiver on the team. And the innovative passing coach was Jesse Harper who is not even mentioned in the film. Reagan’s character, George Gipp, was an ineligible freshman in 1913 and did not attend the game much less star in it. The movie made it look like Army had never seen a pass before. In fact, Army had been designated the main team to experiment with the then newly legal forward pass. Army, too, threw passes during the 1913 game against Notre Dame. Notre Dame had mastered the pass better, however. The part about Notre Dame upsetting Army was about the only part of the movie that was true to life. The Tillman family refused to cooperate with any attempt to tell any Pat Tillman All-American phony story.
So if you want entertainment and fantasy, see a typical Hollywood film. If, on the other hand, you want to learn the truth about Pat Tillman and what happened to him and his family, see the Tillman Story. They, and it, are about integrity, not entertainment.
Having said all that, I inform you that the Tillman family has no use for Jon Krakauer, author of Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.
I will also inform you that Mary Tillman wrote her own book Boots on the Ground by Dusk. The title refers to the stupid, useless, only-a-general-could-love “mission” that got Pat killed. I came across a similar phrase—“show presence”—in the book The Unforgiving Minute by Craig Mullaney, a West Point graduate Rhodes Scholar who did a tour in Afghanistan. I heaped contempt on that “showing presence” phrase in my review of Unforgiving Minute. I assume Mary Tillman does the same in Boots…
Men should not be dying either to “show presence” or to put “boots on the ground” in some nothing village just to show that we could. And generals who order U.S. junior officers and enlisted men to engage in such missions ought to walk point on those missions.
Pat Tillman’s wife Marie, his middle school sweetheart, had a great line in the movie. She said,
Putting people on a pedestal lets the rest of us off the hook.
The line and the movie highlight a little known U.S. military practice: awarding medals and heaping praise on military personnel in SNAFU situations to intimidate all who might inquire into the details from doing so. If a guy dies and gets a bravery medal, what kind of person would dare look into it to see if the medal were warranted?
The answer in this case: the family of the “hero.”
Every review I have seen said the Army picked the wrong family to pull their cover-it-up-with-medals act on.
Boy, did they!
It’s another service, but “Col Jessup” (Jack Nicholson) said it most famously in the movie A Few Good Men.
In the Tillman case, the Army fucked with the wrong ranger and the wrong ranger’s family.
Note: If you are offended by the F-word, do not go to the Tillman Story.
Fundamentally, Pat Tillman is what the Army would have you believe they all are. In fact, the so-called “elite” units like the rangers and airborne (I was an airborne ranger when I was an Army officer) are generally made up of the less mature, less secure about their manhood, John Rambo wannabes.
Pat Tillman, defensive player of the year in the Pac-10 in college and leading tackler on the NFL Arizona Cardinals, was none of those things. Furthermore, Pat Tillman and his family also had the integrity the Army incessantly and falsely claims that it has. Pat Tillman was also truly patriotic. The others in the military would have you believe they are too. But ask what Pat gave up to join the Army and what the other guys in the army gave up. He gave up a multi-million dollar NFL contract and NFL stardom. The typical Army soldier probably gave up unemployment and living with his parents to join the Army. That does not preclude patriotic motive, but it sure as hell does not prove patriotic motive. Quitting the NFL t
o join the military does prove patriotic motive.
If “John Rambo” were real, he would have been a Pat Tillman wannabe. Some may think my less mature, less secure about their manhood, unemployed living with their parents comments were overly harsh. Well, guess what I found a couple of days after I wrote those words. Read these comments by another Army veteran:
Both… were astonished, and appalled, by the immaturity of many of the eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds among whom they found temselves…These were not the kinds of men they’d envisioned themselves fighting alongside and entrusting their lives to.…a disturbing number of the recruits…struck [them] as indolent whiners and losers who had enlisted not out of any sense of duty, or even adventure, but rather because their parents had booted them out of the nest and they lacked the qualifications to land a minimum-wage job.
“One thing I find myself despising is the sight of all these guns in the hands of children…a young man I would not trust my canteen with is walking around armed…
“Often I am so disgusted with the people I’m surrounded with that my heart fills with hate…people that can be worse than anyone I’ve encountered including in Juvenile Hall. They’re resentful, ungrateful, lazy, weak, and unvirtuous, as often as not. They bicker, complain, lie, tell tall tales, mope, and grumble incessantly…”
Who said those things? Pat Tillman talking about his fellow soldiers in Jon Krakauer’s book Where Men Win Glory (hardcover edition) pages 145, 148, 157
Many suspected Tillman joined the Army because he was cynically setting himself up to run for political office. If you think that, you have not seen The Tillman Story. Politicians are dishonest. Pat Tillman was brutally honest, as was his family. There is not a snowball’s chance in La Jolla that he would ever have run for political office. When his three years was up, he planned to return to the NFL. The coach is in the movie discussing it.
It is poetic justice that the Army, which claims to be like Pat Tillman, is so unlike him that they could not recognize his true character and that of his family when it was staring them in the face. Indeed, until they tangled with the Tillmans, I think the real U.S. Army brass did not believe there actually was any real person in America who actually lived up to their carefully cultivated bullshit Hollywood image.
Pat Tillman and I and a million others over the years joined an Army that was an abstraction in our minds. The Army we thought we were joining was made up of war movies, politicians’ speeches, history and civics textbook stories, military funerals and cemeteries, recruiting posters, martial music, and bravery medals.
But Pat and the rest of us discovered, there is no abstract U.S. military. There is only a real one. It is SNAFU, routinely and daily dishonest, inept, political, and cynical. Its soldiers do risk, and lose, their lives and limbs, but more often for their superiors” incompetence and their superiors’ hoped-for career advancement than for abstract causes like freedom or America. Pat Tillman apparently figured that out too late. His father said in the movie,
The military was not what Pat expected it to be.
That’s the damned understatement of the year. Pat himself was quoted in the movie as saying it was all “bullshit.” Read more of my articles about the military and you will have a much more detailed version of what he meant by “bullshit.”
I regret that Bar-Lev did not hammer home the contrast between the honor training at West Point, the military’s unvarying bragging about its “honor,” and the behavior of all the officers involved in the Tillman death and cover-up. This is what you get when your filmmaker is from Berkeley, California—often referred to as the People’s Republic of Berkeley—has no military background and makes relatively weak efforts into correcting that weakness.
Here are some things I would have pointed out to Bar-Lev had I been asked while he was making the movie, or better yet, that he would have seen at my web site had he researched Tillman on the Web.
Lessons to be learned from Pat Tillman’s death
Is military integrity a contradiction in terms?
General Petraeus’ 7/9/09 speech in San Francisco
The general who lied about Pat Tillman gets promoted to military’s highest rank and made head of Afghanistan
The morality of obeying stupid orders
The 'U.S. military’s marathon, 30-year, single-elimination, suck-up tournament' OR 'How America selects its generals'
John T. Reed’s comments on the McChrystal firing
Secretary of Defense Gates’ comments on military integrity and careerism
Did U.S. military personnel really earn all their medals?
The Army tries to get away with yet another whitewash of Pat Tillman’s death
Here’s a table with some sound and pictures Bar-Lev could have juxtaposed. As you’ll see in the film, he likes to juxtapose and does so effectively often.
|full dress parade on the Plain at West Point||West Point parade band playing in the background. “Many of the officers involved in Tillman’s death and cover up were graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point.|
|zoom in on the first captain leading the parade—probably can get film of Uthlaut himself doing that.||Lieutenant David Uthlaut, Tillman’s platoon leader was the “first captain” or top cadet there.|
|West Point yearbook photos of cadets who later became part of the Tillman cover-up||General Stanley McChrystal signed the false Silver Star citation and sent the infamous P-4 cable to President bush via General Abizaid. They both graduated from West Point. So did General Philip Kensinger who headed special ops when Tillman was killed and who gave the eulogy at Tillman’s memorial service that was filled with lies. Kensinger later hid from federal marshals trying to serve him with a subpoena that would have required him to testify before the Congressional committee investigation shown in the movie..|
|video of the West Point motto Duty Honor Country zooming in on the word honor. It’s engraved in the buildings at West Point and on the class rings of each of the West Point graduates who lied in the Tillman case.||
video from General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell address to the Corps of cadets. Its theme was Duty Honor Country. This YouTube from Gregory Peck’s portrayal of MacArthur in the movie Inchon.
|video of the Cadet honor Code: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal nor tolerate those who do” split screen with Abizaid saying he can’t recall||Abizaid claiming amnesia in front of Congress|
A West Point plebe reciting the Cadet Prayer after being ordered to do so by an upperclassman
followed by videos of the Silver Star citation and P-4 cable, picture of General McChrystal, Kensinger whining about just following orders and the generals laughing and shaking each others’ hands at the Congressional hearing where they all claimed they could not remember anything—and got away with it
|O God, our Father, Thou Searcher of human hearts, help us to draw near to Thee in sincerity and truth. May our religion be filled with gladness and may our worship of Thee be natural.
Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretence ever to diminish. Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy. Guard us against flippancy and irreverence in the sacred things of life. Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service. Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance, and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer. Help us to maintain the honor of the Corps untarnished and unsullied and to show forth in our lives the ideals of West Point in doing our duty to Thee and to our Country. All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of all. - Amen
|montage of media story headlines talking about the cover-up lies misleading, censure of Kensinger who was the only retired officer at the time, promotion of McChrystal to head of Afghanistan and for stars, Kensinger’s lying eulogy at the memorial service||Audio of the Cadet Glee Club singing the first eight lines of the Alma Mater and The Corps|
Am I trying to put down my college? Nope. They could not have done much more to teach us to do the right thing. But as The West Pointers involved in the Tillman cover-up show, it did not take in their cases—not at all. And they have compounded the crime with hypocrisy. It is one thing to negligently kill one of your men. It is quite another to repeatedly lie about it while wearing a class ring that brags about how honorable you are
The emcee of the Q&A after the Berkeley showing began by saying it was painful to recall “those eight years.” Bar-Lev instantly contradicted the emcee’s notion that we had just watched a movie about the Bush administration and that everything bad that happened to Tillman and his family was because of George W. Bush. Bar-Lev insisted that the movie was non-partisan not an attack on Bush. Bush appears in the movie making a eulogy type speech about Tillman. The speech was accurate and made no mention of Tillman being brave or getting killed by the enemy. But neither did it correct the record in which those two falsehoods had been said.
It also said the cover-up went all the way to the top shoving a chain of command diagram with photos of each person and slowly panning from the bottom guys like McChrystal and Kensinger and Abizaid up to the top showing Bush and Cheney.
Many have said Bush must have ordered the cover-up. The subordinates wouldn’t dare do it without his approval. Bullshit! For one thing, as a practical matter, Bush could not possibly have ordered the cover-up because it took some time for the word, including that it was friendly fire, to go up the chain of command to Bush. The cover-up had to be started instantly—and it was—by the lieutenants, captains, and lieutenant colonels on the scene. They assumed the brass would want a cover-up because they have been in the Army long enough to know that’s the automatic way the Army handles all embarrassments and screw-ups. The brass, including Bush, went along with it because they thought, by the time they heard, that revealing the truth now would expose the cover-up and the cover-up might just work given it had so far.
I do not know whether Bar-Lev made the movie non-partisan to maximize box office or because of some sort of ethics. But I agree that the movie was non-partisan, even if the Berkeley emcee was a political hack. It’s Berkeley for chrissake. What do you expect?
The movie will make you angry about the way the military treated Pat Tillman and his family. I doubt those events would have happened any differently had the president been Obama, Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Bush the first, or Ronald Reagan. The U.S. military officer corps is a lying sack of shit and has been since at least the middle of the Korean War. They murdered civilians and cover it up during Korea. During Vietnam we had the My Lai massacre which was covered up. The division commander of the My Lai massacre platoon (General Samuel Koster) was a West Point graduate and superintendent of West Point (head guy) when the My Lai cover-up unraveled. He was relieved but the cadets put on a voluntary parade in his honor. I would have refused to march in it had I still been there.
During Vietnam, we also had the daily Five O’Clock Follies, a pack of lies delivered by U.S. military officers on how well the war was going. We lost the war.
So yes the U.S. military officer corps is a pack of incompetent liars but no they are not a partisan Republican pack of liars. The U.S. military officer corps is a bipartisan lying sack of shit. They routinely lie and cover-up no matter which party is in control in Washington. As they would no doubt say, their “honor” requires them to be nonpartisan.
If you want to be uplifted, you can get some of that learning about the Tillman family in the Tillman Story. Otherwise, it is a pretty depressing account of the incompetence and dishonesty of our military and political leaders. Obama promoted McChrystal to four stars and head of Afghanistan AFTER he knew that McChrystal had signed the false silver star citation and the P-4 cable and been recommended for discipline.
If you want more evidence that you should dislike the U.S. military for incompetence and dishonesty, Bar-Lev provides you with all you can eat.
I was disappointed that he let the lower levels of the chain of command—Lieutenant Uthlaut, the battalion commander. the brigade commander—off the hook without even naming them. Maybe they somehow bear no responsibility—although that is almost impossible to claim. If they somehow were not guilty, that should have been proven. I surmise Bar-Lev had a bias against generals but not lieutenants, captains, and lieutenant colonels. Speaking as a former officer, my first reaction was what the hell were the platoon leader, company commander, and battalion commander doing when Tillman was killed? Why did they let this happen? Like I say, maybe it was not their fault. But in the abstract military, those commanders would be guilty until proven innocent under the doctrine that a commander in responsible for everything his men do or fail to do. If they were innocent, exonerate them.
Bar-Lev also said in the Q&A that he deliberately did not name the five guys who shot at Tillman. Why not? I found his explanation lame. He said they were not deliberately trying to kill Tillman. Yeah. So? He’s dead or “fucking dead” as his brother Richard famously said at the funeral. He would not be any more dead if the shots they fired at him were intended to kill him. What they DID intend to do was act like a bunch of irresponsible children playing at war with lethal weapons and the lives of unidentified humans. That is an atrocity under the pertinent international conventions if you do it to civilians or even enemy soldiers who are trying to surrender. They admitted they saw the guys they were shooting at were waving their hands over their heads.
Bar-Lev expressed concern that if he identified those five guys someone might hurt them. I doubt that. Plus, where was that concern when it came to Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney, and the various generals—a list on which only two guys have lifelong secret service protection?
Bar-Lev also said those five guys were named on the Internet and in Krakauer’s book Where Men Win Glory. I will eventually come across those names and when I do I will put them it every article I have about Tillman. They earned it. They are the main villains in this story. They killed Tillman. The generals who carried on the cover-up started by the guys on the scene are pieces of shit, to be sure, but they did not shoot Tillman.
Bar-Lev should have identified the low-level villains—shooters and chain of command below the McChrystal level. His film showed no partisan bias, but it does have a bias against generals and high defense and elected officials and a bias in favor of grunts and junior officers. Based on normal military responsibilities, the NCOs and officers most responsible for not preventing Tillman’s death were the platoon leader and company commander. The battalion commander may have been the idiot who ordered the boots on the ground mission.
Bar-Lev seems to have divided up the cast of characters according to Ralph Nader’s consumer movement concept that an adult consumer is not a competent party to enter into a contract. In other words, the consumer movement divides the world up into those who are adults and held to adult standards of responsibility and those adults who are to be regarded as if they were children by the law—consumers.
The five guys who blasted away at Tillman are adult, highly trained, screened-out-from-a-larger-group of would-be U.S. Army “elite” rangers The platoon leader was a West Point first captain “elite”-squared airborne ranger college graduate. I do not know much about the company commander or battalion commander, but I assure you their birthdates make them all grown-ups and the stuff festooned all over their dress uniforms would have us believe they are hot shit way-above-average officers.
If Uthlaut and the Company commander and Battalion commander had immediately told the press what happened and refrained from telling their men to clam up, none of the cover-up would have ever happened. They started it or at least the company and battalion commanders did.UIthlaut may not have participated in the cover-up because he, too, was badly wounded by the same friendly fire and was medevacked along with Tillman’s body. Why? Who the hell did they think they were to do that? Pat’s bother Kevin was in the same squad as Pat. Those officers on the scene ordered the men who knew what happened not to tell Kevin. That order did not come from Rumsfeld or Abizaid or Kensinger. That order was given by the low-level officers. Why?
Bar-Lev is holding people accountable in this film. Fine. But don’t leave anyone out. Jon Krakauer does not leave anyone out in his book Where Men Win Glory about Tillman and how the Army treated his family.
Written words scrolling across the screen at the end tell us that Bryan O’Neal, the spec 4 who was standing next to Tillman when he was killed, who calls the brass liars in the movie, and who regarded Tillman as a great friend and personal hero—he’s is staying in the Army!!!!!!!!! One purpose of my military web pages is to warn prospective members of the military what it’s really like. But some people, apparently including O’Neal, are so dense that no mountain of facts or even direct experience can turn the light on. Does the “elite” O’Neal not realize he is going nowhere in the Army because of his calling the brass liars in front of an international movie audience? Does he think the Army is going to change after 200 years of refusing to do so? And what horrible experience must he have had in civilian life to cause him to still think the Army is a better place to make a career?
One of the stars of the movie is Stan Goff. He is a retired Army NCO who was in during Vietnam, Somalia, etc. and was in a lot of ranger and green beret assignments. He helped Mary Tillman translate the acronyms and read between the lines and unredact the redacted documents the Army gave the Tillmans. He comes across as quite knowledgeable and extremely candid. But the end of the movie said he has two sons who are career Army and still in the Army. WTF! After all this? I know, they are probably close to retirement and cannot afford to walk away from the benefits but still…
Krakauer was on TV and said Uthlaut was still going to make a career of the Army and Krakauer was glad to hear that. WTF! A. why would Uthlaut do that since every time the media writes about him they will note that he was Tillman’s platoon leader when Tillman got shot dead by other members of Uthlaut’s platoon? B. Why would Krakauer be glad Uthlaut was staying in the Army that Krakauer appropriately condemned for their treatment of Tillman and his family?
First captains are typically very popular and higly respected by their fellow cadets. Some will say Uthlaut did not do anything wrong. Maybe, although I don’t think he earned Platoon Leader of the Year from the incident either. But it doesn’t matter.
As I said in my Sassaman book review, the military is a wrong-place-wrong-time operation. If you are a good guy but are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you’re done. At the very least, Uthlaut was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sassaman was not first captain at West Point, but he was quarterback of the last successful Army football team and he won a bowl game.
But a couple of his men—one a West Point lieutenant—were convicted of mistreating prisoners. The West Point lieutenant and his NCO accomplice went to jail. Sassaman, who was their battalion commander with a promising future told them not to mention they had forced the prisoners into a shallow pond. That was sort of an ultra mild version of the Tillman cover-up. But it was the wrong time. The Abu Grhaib incident had just hit the media shortly before Sassaman’s men decided to harass some captured Iraqis. End of Sassaman’s career. He got an Article 15—sort of like a serious traffic ticket—and was allowed to stay in the Army until he reached 20 years so he could retire and get his bennies—similar to Kensinger in the Tillman incident. Note the pattern here of how the Army investigates itself and hands out punishments that are akin to staying after school one day.
I’m glad I saw The Tillman Story movie. I’m glad to see the Tillman’s get credit for who they really were and refuse undeserved credit and pedestals and all that. Learning about that family was uplifting. Otherwise, it even pissed me off about the military and I would have thought was already fully there.
The movie is a bit hard to find—playing in artsy theaters. The Tillman Story web site has the list at http://tillmanstory.com/site/2010/09/01/the-tillman-story-playing-in-new-cities/.
Pat Tillman’s widow, Marie, started the Pat Tillman Foundation. It raises money to send Tillman Scholars to a two-semester Leadership Through Action Program at Pat’s alma mater Arizona State University. It has become Marie’s full-time job. They sponsor a 4.2 mile Pat’s Run (Pat’s ASU jersey number was 42) to raise money each year at ASU and San Jose (near Pat’s high school and family home).