Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Sgt Pat Tillman - An American Hero
Welcome to My World, where all across America there has been a huge well deserved outpouring of praise, memorials and tributes to a great American soldier, Pat Tillman, killed in action late last week in an ambush by Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists near the Pakistan border in a remote, Afghanistan province. Most of all that can be said has been, but I would be remiss and derelict of duty if I were not to honor this great American who chose to serve his country over fame and fortune, getting it right in a world filled with wrongs. It was easy to become a fan of Pat Tillman. I remember the first time I saw him. It was on the football field, his long tresses under his gold ASU helmet. I thought, this guy does not have enough size to be a major college linebacker, an opinion that was quickly changed when he bounced a 300 pound offensive lineman and put a quarterback on his butt. This all from a brilliant student who ended up graduating suma cum laude. When he went to the pros, he stayed in the valley as a search and destroy safety. Nothing changed except his number, from 42 to 40. Then in May 2002, it all changed when Tillman announced that he and his brother Kevin were enlisting in the Army and trying for the elite Rangers, leaving behind a 3.6 million deal with the Cardinals. Post 9-11 patriotism welled up in many of his fans, including myself. I remember in My World cautioning the enemy that Pat was on his way. It made me feel like I wanted to get back into it, almost hating the fact that I was too old, and I was not alone. It was a recapturing of the American spirit going back through all our wars to the Spirit of '76. This young athlete was the embodiment of the true American soldier. He never knew he was a hero. I wish I had more time to say more. All I can add is, Sgt. Pat Tillman, Special Forces U.S. Army Rangers, 1976-2004, for God and country, as I see it ... I'm H.G. Listiak.