“After Pat’s Birthday”: Kevin Tillman Speaks Out
October 23, 2007
Pat Tillman left the NFL to join the Army in 2002. When he was killed, the Army and the Bush administration exploited and buried the true circumstances of his death for jingistic purposes. Pat, who was critical of President Bush's policies, had planned to meet with Noam Chomsky after his discharge.
Pat's brohter Kevin served with him in the Army. Kevin Tillman has some thoughts about the war and the significance of November 7:
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 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.
Read the entire piece here.