Pat Tillman: The Consummate War Hero

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24 Responses to “Pat Tillman: The Consummate War Hero”


  • Tillman deserves all those accolades and tributes and more; the unfortunate manner of his death is irrelevant. He turned his back on fame and fortune to serve his country when it was under attack, and he gave his life in that service. And his comments about the freedoms we have show that he certainly had some understanding of what he was fighting for. A great role model in an age when even mediocre role models are hard to find. “Greater love hath no man….”

  • I have been reading and writing a lot about Tillman lately and agree that his story is worth sharing. See my thoughts here:

    http://intrepidflame.blogspot.com/search/label/Pat%20Tillman

  • Pat Tillman is my hero, and he is the reason I joined the military at the age of 32! May he continue to Rest in Peace.

  • Just start reading your blog it is actually quite enlightening i shall without a doubt keep an eye on your blog, you have turned me into a constant reader.Do you have a newsletter i can subscribe to ?

  • Thanks for your kind words, Jody. We have no newsletter, but you can subscribe to the blog. Our book on heroes is available in October of 2010, if you are interested.

    Please let us know if you have any heroes. We consider all suggestions from our readers. Best wishes to you.

  • Thanks a lot for so worthwhile written piece. Good job!

  • I think that a lot of people count Tillman as a hero due to his heroism and patriotism. Not many professions athletes who had struggled to make it to a professional level would willingly, if at all, give up what they had fought to achieve in order to serve their country. His dedication is inspiring and deserving of heroic status.

  • Pat Tillman is one of my biggest heroes not because he was a great football player but for his love and compassion towards our country. To pass up the kind of money he did and go and protect our country so we can be free is hands down heroic.

  • The story of Pat Tillman is my favorite on this blog. I think this is one of the most pure and basic examples of what a hero is. In an interview with Tillman before he left for Afghanistan, he acknowledged that he had not challenged himself and made a difference in the world yet in any way that was satisfying to him. Most people go through life and settle with this fact. What is most amazing about Tillman's desire to join the military is that he could have easily accepted a life of luxury and wealth as a player in the NFL. It takes a very grounded and selfless person to turn down an offer like that and enter into a life threatening occupation. The fact that Tillman died while in serving in the military definitely raised the story's national publicity, but I believe any person who recognizes this call to adventure, as Campbell would say, and accepts it wholeheartedly is definitely a hero.

  • Pat Tillman did one of the most heroic things in the last decade. As an all-pro safety, Pat Tillman could have had it all. However, he chose to serve for his country after 9/11. Pat Tillman’s untimely death proved to be one of the most selfless acts in history.

  • Ryan Erickson-Kulas

    It is fascinating to understand the case of Pat Tillman and understand just how closely the idea of heroism is tied to sacrifice. Not only did Tillman sacrifice his life, but he sacrificed an extremely lucrative career in the NFL. He made the ultimate sacrifice and in the process inspired millions.

  • Pat Tillman is a huge hero to me. He was not only an amazing football player but a dedictaed soldier. Pat Tillman had the opprotunity to live out so many people’s biggest dreams, and did for a while. He put all of those dreams and put aside his success to protect our country, and in the end died for us. That is a hero.

  • Hi everyone, this is great article, and after you read this article you simply must leave a comment… Thanks for sharing this article with us!

  • Pat Tillman not only sacrificed a multi-million dollar contract and a rare career opportunity with the N.F.L., but he did so because he chose, instead, to enlist and serve his country, putting his own life on the line in the process. Although it is likely that people are drawn to heroes who are humble and relatable, (and Tillman's humble nature comes full-circle in his interview during which he claimed that he had not served his country in a way that was fulfilling to him); in my opinion, he did something to which not many people could relate. He turned down a life in the lap of luxury to put his life on the line during a time of war. How many people would make such a life-changing decision? A cushy lifestyle chock full of fame and fortune versus a career in the military during which one's life is placed on the line – it is a tough decision. However, Pat Tillman did not seem to have much difficulty making such a decision. As a matter of fact, he seemed to know exactly what he wanted to do and what he had to do to get there – and he did it.

  • Even if he had not died I still thing Tillman would have been a great hero. He gave up so much for his country and that is truly admirable.

  • Pat Tillman is a true hero without a doubt. He displays the true meaning of selflessness and he lived and died for a cause. Pat Tillman gave up a career many people can only dream of to fight for a country he loved dearly and to ensure that people in America can rest peacefully at night. He put the lives of millions in front of his own and that will never be forgotten. Every member of the Armed Forces put their lives on the line for American citizens and they are all heroes in my eyes.

  • I remember watching ESPN and the sudden news that Pat Tillman had died was announced. I had no idea who he was or what he had done, but once i heard the story i was amazed by his actions. He gave up millions of dollars to protect his country and work in the military. It shows what kind of person he was and what kind of morals he had in his heart. He is the true definition of a war hero.

  • Pat Tillman is the ideal example of an individual who has shown incredible amounts of both moral and physical courage. The decision to turn down millions of dollars to pursue his life long passion of playing football and to enlist in the military is truly inspiring. Tillman did what he knew was right and tragically died in the process which will forever embed him as a hero in my eyes.

  • I remeber when this happened and my mom was telling me about it. although I was younger at the time I still remember feeling very sad that it seems that with heroes like the police officer gunned down outside the mcdonalds, heroes sometimes are the victims. It makes me sad that Tillman dropped his dream as a football star to do what he thought was right and in turn lost his life to such a silly thing as friendly fire. It really is a story of a tragic hero.

  • I remember hearing about the death of Pat Tillman in the news and it was very sobering. Here was an NFL star that had succeeded greatly and was on line to make millions of dollars. However, rather than enjoying a life of luxury, he decided to put his own life on the line so that the rest of the country could go on enjoying their own comfortable lives. He could have easily sat back and let someone else take his place in the army. Instead he chose to be a hero and to step up to the challenge of defending our freedom and ended up paying the ultimate sacrifice. He will always be remembered as a football star, but even more importantly, as a national hero.

  • I think this is one of the most amazing stories I have ever come across. Tilman is definitely one of America’s true heroes as he dropped an amazing opportunity to play professional football but decided that he had to fight for his country. Though the death positivity bias may be taken to account, i do not believe it is the case. Whether Tilman lived or died he would and always will be one of America’s greatest heroes.

  • Pat Tillman is true hero, he gave up the NFL and security to fight for his country and lose his life. His patriotism and courageous act identifies him as a hero to many. Soldiers alone are heroes, but the fact that Pat Tillman gave up his friends, a family, and a high paying job that granted his safety to fight, is unbelievable. He was a star on the football field, but will always be remembered for fighting for his country.

  • I have such respect for Pat Tillman and men like him. It is remarkable that he turned down the incredibly successful life he had built, and I bet his family probably urged him to stay in America and be safe. The fact that he put so much on the line to follow his instincts is commendable. I am so glad to see that he is being remembered through memorials and scholarships. His actions are truly heroic, and he reminds me of my cousin Cory who also felt compelled to fight for our country after the September 11 attacks. Cory was also killed several years in 2006 in Afghanistan and is sorely missed and will always be remembered.

  • I think this is a perfect example of a hero. I had heard about him, but reading this blog just makes me wish there were more people like him in the world.

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