Patrick Daniel Tillman was a professional American football player who was enjoying a very successful career in the National Football League (NFL) with the Arizona Cardinals until he enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. His service in Iraq and Afghanistan and subsequent death were the subjects of much media attention. At one point, he turned down a $3.6 million contract to fight the War on terror.
In 2004, Tillman was tragically killed in Iraq in what turned out to be a friendly fire accident after many controversies which followed the case.
His military career started when he joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died under suspicious circumstances in the mountains of Afghanistan. At first, the United Staes Army reported that Pat Tillman had been killed by enemy fire but didn’t disclose any other details. Controversy ensued when a month later, on May 28, 2004, the Pentagon notified the Tillman family that he had died as a result of a friendly fire incident; the family and other critics allege that the Department of Defense (DoD) delayed the disclosure for weeks after Tillman’s memorial service out of a desire to protect the image of the U.S. military at the moment.
Pat Tillman was the first professional football player to be killed in combat since Bob Kalsu, who died in the Vietnam War in 1970. Tillman was posthumously laterally promoted from specialist to corporal. He also received posthumous Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.
Today, there are numerous events, charities and other memories to ensure that this hero will not be forgotten.
Profession: Athlete, American football player
Age: Died at 28 (1976-2004)
Birthplace: Fremont, California, United States of America
Schools: Arizona State University, Leland High School
Cause Of Death: Friendly fire, Firearm, Gunshot
Place Of Death: Spera, Afghanistan