T Nation

Tillman Not A Hero?

I did a search on Google for Pat Tillman because I wanted to read more in depth about him and what made this man’s man tick. The more I read about him the more I want to be like him.

Then I came across this link. Try reading it before a workout, because if this doesn’t get you jacked up, I don’t know what will. The title reads “PAT TILLMAN IS NOT A HERO: HE GOT WHAT WAS COMING TO HIM.”

http://media.dailycollegian.com/pages/tillman_lobandwidth.html

Yeah, I heard this toolbag got death threats after this article. Some asshole who has learned everything he knows in life from a school is talking about something that he could never understand. Shit on the war in Iraq all you want, but don’t sully the memory of a good man.

I remember reading that article when it first came out and it making me sick that someone could have that type of mentality. I also remember reading his apology the next day.

Guy’s like that just need to be thinned from the herd. Even if he had those thoughts, what possible good could have come from writing them in an article. The greatest irony is that because of guys like Pat Tilman, who fought and died for this country, a-holes like that have the freedom to write that kind of shit. Talk about injustice.

I hope I speak for the rest of the T-Nation when I say Thank you to all the soldiers who are protecting this country, and we are particularly grateful to those who have died fighting for the freedoms that we have today.

take care
Ryan

[quote]drryan wrote:
I hope I speak for the rest of the T-Nation when I say Thank you to all the soldiers who are protecting this country, and we are particularly grateful to those who have died fighting for the freedoms that we have today.
take care
Ryan[/quote]

Agreed. Tillman got more recogniton than anybody else because of his high profile as a professional athlete. He was without question a hero, but so is every other man and woman who risk their lives fighting for the good of everyone else.

[quote]TFlex28 wrote:
Agreed. Tillman got more recogniton than anybody else because of his high profile as a professional athlete. He was without question a hero, but so is every other man and woman who risk their lives fighting for the good of everyone else. [/quote]

I don’t dispute that every other American soldier is a hero, because they are. I have buddies that are over in Iraq right now who are putting themselves in harm’s way everyday.

But how many men joined the military even though they already had a career that paid them MILLIONS to become a member of elite special forces?

Tillman didn’t get recognition for being a pro athlete. He got it for sacrificing his very secure and safe lifestyle to go defend our country with his life.

Get a picture and bio of Tillman and put it up against two of his most well-known detractors, that clown from third-rate at best college and Rall. I’m sure most would come to the conclusion that something as base a jealousy could have nothing to do with their scribblings. Nothing at all.

[quote]FCFighter wrote:
TFlex28 wrote:
But how many men joined the military even though they already had a career that paid them MILLIONS to become a member of elite special forces?

Tillman didn’t get recognition for being a pro athlete. He got it for sacrificing his very secure and safe lifestyle to go defend our country with his life. [/quote]

So you are saying that a job that pays millions is harder to leave behind than a wife and kids, or brothers and sisters? I totally disagree with this statement, and find it hard to believe that one can put a dollar sign before his or her family.

This article seems to be more an unintentional criticism of American media than a beef against Tillman himself.

DI

[quote]srow wrote:
So you are saying that a job that pays millions is harder to leave behind than a wife and kids, or brothers and sisters? I totally disagree with this statement, and find it hard to believe that one can put a dollar sign before his or her family.

[/quote]

I wouldn’t personally know. I don’t make millions, nor have I ever had to leave my family to go fight in a war. It was not my intention for anyone to interpret my statements to say that it is not extremely difficult to leave a family.

But name one other pro athlete/actor/real estate tycoon etc. that gave up their lucrative salary and position of power to become a common soldier(albeit an Army Ranger) that makes $18,000 a year.

By the way, Tillman also left behind a wife. So I guess by your standards that would make it twice as hard to leave.

[quote]KnightRT wrote:
This article seems to be more an unintentional criticism of American media than a beef against Tillman himself.

DI[/quote]

Dude, did you read past the third paragraph? That’s where the article quits talking about “America’s knee-jerk reaction” to call Tillman a “hero” and Gonzalez starts personally attacking Tillman and his motives(as PERCEIVED by the author).

[quote]FCFighter wrote:

But name one other pro athlete/actor/real estate tycoon etc. that gave up their lucrative salary and position of power to become a common soldier(albeit an Army Ranger) that makes $18,000 a year.[/quote]

It’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter who the person is, what that person does, or what that person left behind. What is important is what they’re doing, for us. They are all equals, and the media was wrong in this case.

[quote]FCFighter wrote:
By the way, Tillman also left behind a wife. So I guess by your standards that would make it twice as hard to leave.[/quote]

My standards don’t put money or power over loved ones, sorry.

Why do you keep twisting my words around? Nowhere did I say that I value money over loved ones. The fact remains that Tillman was a very unique man and did a very unique thing COMPARED TO OTHERS WITH SIMILAR FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES!

Maybe the media was wrong for glorifying Tillman above other soldiers. The irony is that he would not have wanted them to do so. I for one am glad they did. Role models of his caliber are nonexistant these days.

Relax FC, you don’t have to bite my head off.

Most of his article is a case against the American public’s perception of Tillman. But it isn’t the public broaching heroism; that’s media spin.

As to the rest, what can I say. He obviously cares not for the current in American foreign policy. Tillman’s a jumping-off point for what amounts to a bitching session.

DI

srow,
Just to prove how strongly Tillman valued defending and giving back to his country compared to the average American(including soldiers):

Take a poll with this one question.

If you could join the military for $18,000 a year to get shot at, live in a tent in the desert and mountains and never know what day might be your last, or…

Play professional sports, make millions of dollars and be able to provide tbe best of everything for your family and yourself…

Which would you pick?

If this option was given at Armed Forces Recruiting centers, the draft would have to be put back in to effect.

KnightRT,

Sorry for the bluntness. I see your point, but it still looks personal to me.

I wouldn’t become too enamored with the money aspect. Soldiering was more desirable than football, so he joined. The possibility of death was a calculated risk, exacerbated all the more by his position in an elite unit.

To say his choice was more virtuous than those of other professional athletes isn’t scrutinizing to a terribly exacting standard.

The question, I suppose, is if dying for your country is necessarily an act of heroism. What would his wife say? He pledged support in tandem with marriage. To risk termination of that support by putting himself in harm’s way was a selfish action.

And of course, the current war further fogs the argument. What are we defending against? Invading Afghanis? Was it more necessary that he die for a dubious cause than to support his family?

Merely thoughts,

DI

Guys,

This whole issue was debated not too long after Tillman’s death. It included the article by Gonzales. There were some great posts by some knowledgable, veteran, t-men that shed light on both sides of the argument. If I had time to find the links, I would have posted them. Do a search and read the older threads on this. It’s quite interesting.

[quote]KnightRT wrote:
I wouldn’t become too enamored with the money aspect. Soldiering was more desirable than football, so he joined. The possibility of death was a calculated risk, exacerbated all the more by his position in an elite unit.
[/quote]

Really? How many people do what they really love as an occupation, despite the rate of pay? How many Americans VOLUNTARILY change to a career that offers little more than knowing that you might have made a difference at the end of the day? Not many.

How do you measure what is virtuous and what is not? To me it’s doing what someone thinks is right, whether popular or not. Tillman didn’t just walk his own path, he made it.

Are you saying that dying for your country is not heroic? I don’t even know how to reply to this. Why don’t you go to “the wall” at the Vietnam War memorial and make this statement to a few of the vets or families of fallen soldiers that are visiting there?

I think his wife would say that he was the bravest man she has ever met. Obviously she would probably prefer not to be a widow, but she is the widow of a man that died while displaying total disregard for his own safety to save others. Is that selfish? Is every other man or woman in the armed forces selfish if they decide to get married?

The war in Afghanistan is hardly a dubious cause. The Taliban harbored terrorists, including Bin Laden, and gave them a place to train to KILL other Americans. So you can’t say that they are not largely responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Retaliation was the only option.

I am not turning your words around in any way. Never have I posted what your opinion was. I simply replied to what you said, with my opinion.

That said, I will reply to your poll question. I guess it would come down to where one’s passion lies. If fighting for his country is more important than football, he chooses his country. If his passion for football is more important, then he chooses football. It’s not a monetary issue, it’s an issue on beliefs…one that is personal and can only be answered by the person in question.

Thanks, RichM. Here is the original debate:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=444029

I guess I’m a little behind.