Pat Tillmans Brother Speaks...


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Autolycus
October 20, 2006, 08:02 PM
After Pat’s Birthday

Posted on Oct 19, 2006

Courtesy the Tillman Family
Pat Tillman (left) and his brother Kevin stand in front of a Chinook helicopter in Saudi Arabia before their tour of duty as Army Rangers in Iraq in 2003.

By Kevin Tillman

Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman Link to Letter (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601019_after_pats_birthday/)

I can only say that it is refreshing to hear the words straight from a soldier and a true patriot.

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TexasRifleman
October 20, 2006, 08:04 PM
Oh God..... :rolleyes:

I propose we shut down L&P until AFTER the election.

Off topic, no gun content, out of place, etc etc................ Again

Questionable source on top of that, and this shows up at no other new organization.
Good chance it's not even authentic.

Biker
October 20, 2006, 08:08 PM
Relevant in any case...

Biker

beerslurpy
October 20, 2006, 08:16 PM
Uh, what happened to the big stink about him being shot by his own squad because he was too much of a hero and they didnt want to get killed due to his hunger for medals?

crucible
October 20, 2006, 08:18 PM
Relevant just as long as it's understood that reasonable people can and do disagree with many points in the letter-including ones who have skin in the game-and who's opinions are just as valid as anyone else's, including Mr. Tillman's brother.

C-

WayneConrad
October 20, 2006, 08:25 PM
You gotta be a justice of the SCOTUS to manage the mental gymnastics required for this to be related to firearms and civil rights.

georgeduz
October 20, 2006, 08:26 PM
was he a army ranger or a power ranger,i know girl scouts with more guts than him

WayneConrad
October 20, 2006, 08:29 PM
Do we do ourselves any honor by maligning the dead? Come on, fellas... THR, remember?

orionengnr
October 20, 2006, 08:30 PM
well, said, and a very reasonable response...

Biker
October 20, 2006, 08:33 PM
Who are you speaking of, George, and why are you so close to Girl Scouts?


Biker

ceetee
October 20, 2006, 08:34 PM
I tend to agree with much of the content of the letter. I also want to have something to show that Kevin Tillman actually wrote the letter, before I take it at face value that he did.

DouglasW
October 20, 2006, 08:42 PM
Nothing on snopes.com, yet.

I'll take a wait-and-see attitude on the veracity of this one.

And I agree...quite off-topic, but that doesn't mean we do ourselves or THR any good by disparaging the dead.

Autolycus
October 20, 2006, 08:54 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/09/05/tillman0911/

I am reading it right now. Its a Sports Illustrated article.

You didn't talk politics over there, not while you were still in the sandbox. But that night, as Pat watched another orange and white flash-bang shudder the distant town, he shook his head and said, "This war is so f------ illegal." Russ, for the first time, realized how wobbly a tightrope Pat was walking between his integrity and his duty. Even later in their 3 1/2-month deployment in Iraq, as it began to appear that they'd been sent on a nukes-and-biochemical-weapons wild-goose chase, Russ never heard Pat go further than, "This is all bulls---." But surely Pat's fame and fierce independence had unsettled higher-ups from the day he enlisted. They had tried to persuade him to be a recruiting poster boy in Washington rather than a Ranger. Surely, one family member was convinced, once the Army got its first glimpse of Pat's psychological profile -- he was the one who stood outside the Cardinals' team prayer circle, the one who couldn't wait to have a mutual friend arrange a meeting with renowned anti-war leftist Noam Chomsky after his discharge -- it never would have allowed him to become a Ranger if it hadn't had to because he was Pat Tillman. Hell, at the Army recruiting office the day he enlisted, before he'd even signed his papers, one of those jalapeño drill sergeants lined up Pat, Kevin and a gaggle of other recruits and started fire-breathing contradictory orders. "Look, you're confusing everybody and being unreasonable," Pat told the astonished sergeant. "You're treating us like ass----s, and we haven't even signed up to be treated like ass----s yet." At first it was a curiosity to Pat, then an irritation, when he kept receiving orders to undergo additional psychological evaluations. From the Sports Illunstrated Article on Pat Tillman (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/09/05/tillman0911/2.html)

MDMadrid
October 20, 2006, 09:09 PM
I would like to first start by saying thanks to the Tillmans for their service in our military. I would also like to say that I do not agree with some if not most of the content of the letter.

Who is to know that what they (U.S. Leadership) are doing is the “right” thing to do? In my opinion only history can tell us. I am sure there are a lot of people in the THR that can express this better than I can, and more likely correct me when I am wrong, but history has a way of proving us “right” or “wrong”

During the French revolution many people thought that they were “right” when they executed many of their fellow Frenchmen. We look back now and see what a great tragedy this was and how many lives were lost to an idea what went very wrong. How about when many “Christians” were put to death in Rome? At the time the people love it…now we look back with discuss. Or maybe the idea the world had when Hitler started invading Austria and we thought that we would let him take this one country and maybe he will stop. How many lives could have been saved if we would have stopped him then? How about when we dropped the bombs of Japan…did we take needless lives or did we save lives? The people up in Massachusetts who put all of the so called “witches” to death…where their lives needlessly lost?

I could go on with more examples, but I will not. All I am trying to point out is that the above mentioned examples were full of well meaning people who thought that they were doing the “right” thing. History tells us that some leaders of the world did do the right thing, and it also is full of examples of leaders doing the “wrong” thing.

Are we doing the right thing by being in Iraq? Only history will tell us.

OldBillThundercheif
October 20, 2006, 09:22 PM
As I recall he was not killed by his own squad, but rather by trigger-happy national guardsmen attempting to "help".

I could be wrong, though. With all the misinformation that was flung around after the incident who knows what actually happened...

50 Freak
October 20, 2006, 10:01 PM
Hey he and his brother volunteered to join the army and fight for this country. AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED HE HAS A RIGHT TO VOICE HIS OPINION ANY DAMN WAY HE WANTS.

Some of us here who critize his opinion and question his mettle should look in the mirror themselves.

As for myself. He does bring up some good points, some I do not agree with but neverless it is something to think about.

.45Guy
October 20, 2006, 10:06 PM
was he a army ranger or a power ranger,i know girl scouts with more guts than him

Holy Hell, I've never even remotely been aroused to the level of genuinely PO'ed by something I've read on the net. But damn George, where have you served?

SomeKid
October 20, 2006, 10:09 PM
Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

If he wants to disagree about whether we should be in this war, fine. The underlined part however shows to me that he is a moron, and not worth listening to. I have to admit, I always sigh when I hear the lefty-moonbats scream about how illegal this war is. I am STILL waiting for them to show me where in USC this war is illegal.

.45Guy, one need not serve to have an opinion. I personally do not think he is gutless, but lacking in the thinking department.

.45Guy
October 20, 2006, 10:13 PM
.45Guy, one need not serve to have an opinion. I personally do not think he is gutless, but lacking in the thinking department.


Opinion is one thing, but to call a man a coward for voicing his opinions, you better damn well have had boots on the ground before I'll take you seriously.

Biker
October 20, 2006, 10:14 PM
Yup...George is indeed a Bad Man. We're on the same page, .45Guy.

Biker

.45Guy
October 20, 2006, 10:18 PM
Thanks Biker:)
http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g27/aguy123/Pollock.jpg

Art Eatman
October 20, 2006, 10:59 PM
Sorry, but OT. Better at APS.

Art

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