In reading your articles about Pat Tillman and his service to our country, I am filled with sadness and pride for him in death that won’t go away. I hope that his brother and his wife find solace with their family and come to some peace in their lives. I think that Pat Tillman will be an inspiration to a generation and his life had great meaning. God bless him and keep his spirit well. God bless his family and give them peace. And please pass along my thanks and condolences to his family.
— John Wilson
The story written by Paul Beston, covering Pat Tillman, “The NFL’s Lonely Hero,” holds more depth than ever now. As the rest of the league’s players sit in their million dollar homes during the off season, Pat’s wife has only her family to hold her now. None of them will ever understand honor and loyalty like he did.
— L. Stark
I just saw on CNN.com that Pat Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan. After reading your article here I felt very proud of such a person. I served in the military so I know what that is like. I did my tour during Desert Storm. I didn’t however leave a multimillion dollar contract to do so. He will be missed.
This morning I emailed the Pat Tillman articles to a host of friends. This evening Yahoo News has his death. Let’s keep this simple. He was a HERO. Not for his actions in combat, which I’m sure were of the highest order, but for the example he set of how to make choices as an American. RIP, brother.
— Chris Buckley
Sergeant First Class Retired
Like Mr. Beston I no longer follow football as I once did. However, back when Pat Tillman eschewed his NFL career to become an Army Ranger, I paused. My Dad served in WW II and there were a large number of sports greats that also took off one uniform for another. Ted Williams, Yogi Berra to name a couple. I served 20 years in the Army and was profoundly moved by what Pat Tillman chose to do. When my husband told me he was killed fighting in Afghanistan this past week I was stunned and saddened. The Olympian, the local paper here, carried stories about him both on the front page and in the sports section. I noted that Arizona State, where Pat used to play, will retire his number at the end of the season. Maybe it is just a strange coincidence but that same number, 42, was worn by an American hero in a different sport — Jackie Robinson.
— Victoria Harold-Carter
SFC, USA retired
My condolences to the family, and friends. Pat was why I was getting BACK into football watching after years of ignoring it. The man had honor, and integrity.
— Matt Searcy
Re: Paul Beston’s “The NFL’s Lonely Hero”: Truer words were never spoken! This piece will serve as Tillman’s eulogy (my opinion). Good job. I am proud of Mr. Tillman’s courage and resolve. He had the guts to leave everything behind to follow what he truly believed in. Men like him are heroes.
God Bless America!
— Teresa Gonzales
Pray for Pat’s family. When I heard the news this morning about his death in Afghanistan, my heart grew heavy. What a sacrifice.
Fountain Hills, Arizona
The patriotic example of Pat Tillman is just the latest of a long line of Americans who committed to freedom.
Given recent events, I’m reminded of a book I read, Millions for Defense: The Subscription Warships of 1798 by Frederick Leiner. He describes the actions of American merchants to build and pay for warships for the use of the government to resist French demands for tribute, the XYZ Affair. France does not seem to have changed much! The American reaction was captured in the famous cry, “Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute.”
The first such subscription led to the merchants of Newburyport, Massachusetts, signing a contract for the building of the Merrimack on June 13, 1798. Soon other cities followed their example.
How far the state of Massachusetts has come to be represented today by John Kerry and Ted Kennedy! One wonders which represents the true current state of affairs in that historic state? Are their still many patriots there like my fourth great grandfather who was issued his privateer’s commission in the Massachusetts navy on May 7, 1779?
— Bruce Thompson
“The NFL’s Lonely Hero” was a wonderfully inspiring article back when I originally read it. Today it is eerily poignant. Thank you for writing it, he is a true hero in every sense of the word. I wonder what Simeon Rice is saying about Tillman today?
Simeon Rice et al. will never be able to give gratitude to Pat Tillman now. I hope you can write about Pat, at least one more time.
— Ben Claggett
This story breaks my heart. I would sure like to know what Simeon Rice has to say now; now that his foot is crammed so far into his mouth. What a thing to say about someone. I guess that’s where out society is and will stay as long as we have professional sports. Just my opinion.
Pat Tillman was truly a role-model. Not only on the football field, but in his everyday life. Character is a missing commodity with many of our sports stars and celebrities but not so with him. How unfortunate it is that his life was tragically cut short.
“Reputation is what you do when people are looking. Character is what you do when people aren’t looking.” — Parke Kallenberg
— Michael J. Kearns
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Is there a foundation or something for donations for Pat Tillman or a way to send money to the family. To me he is what every American should be. He is a hero and we need more like him.
— Chris Connelly
Pat Tillman: Here is a man of honor — he is honor, he is courage, the world is a little less now that he is gone. Few athletes have his courage and his dedication to country . He was a man of honor , too bad we don’t have more like him…
— Dick Prost
an NFL fan from Whippleville, New York
While Pat Tillman is being mourned for his courage and dedication to America, some jerk named Manning is displaying the typical jock attitude of me first and I won’t play unless I can name my own team. This guy and his father are a disgrace. If any of the NFL owners had any guts they tell the Manning family to take a hike.
— Tom Bullock
West Covina, California
You wrote one of the best articles on 12/4/03 about Tillman leaving the NFL to protect our country. Today, with his death in Afghanistan it was especially gut-wrenching.
While reading your words, I felt especially impacted. The letter you wrote was absolutely perfect — it had resolve, passion, insight and the power to hit you in the gut — and it was so right, because when you wrote it, no one understood the risks of war.
Now they do.
Just a word of thanks, and thanks that you brought this story out so we can all reflect and be grateful and understand that war cost lives, and those that sacrifice their lives for our freedom are the true heroes.
— David Evansen
The death of Patrick Tillman diminishes us all for he was a beacon reminding us that honor, courage, patriotism and duty are more than mere words. His life, though short, set an example for us all by proving that our beliefs are more important than our possessions. Our morals are more important than our money. Many will dismiss his actions as foolish, but it is through the acts of men like Patrick Tillman that they are afforded the luxury of their naiveté. The bell has tolled once again and America has lost a noble son. We have lost the very best of what we as a society hold sacred and we, as a society, are the lesser for his death.
— James A. Thompson
Paul Beston penned an article in 12/03 that was right on the mark. It’s also profound to re-read it today, given the sad news of the day with Pat Tillman being KIA.
I look forward to a follow-up article so that parents can read Beston, and more easily talk to their kids about true role models.
— Tim D. Clegg
I too have waters that run deep personally, and today is one of those day that stick out. Today I got a new hero in my life. Lance Armstrong move over…
Pat has taken over
— Gene Dudek III
I am sure you have been inundated by letters in regards to Pat Tillman, so I will simply say “thank- you” for re-listing the earlier stories of his enlistment and a current update. I will be sure to check back to see a follow-up article.
— Julie Phillips
WHY NO EOW
This week there are no EOWs. They are overshadowed by Pat Tillman and the others who serve. My nephew in the Marines I honor as well. We who served before and those before us are proud of them, and EOW candidates this week are irrelevant because of them. They are our pride and our future. May God bless them all.
No Enemy of the Week? In light of Mr. Pat Tillman, understood. (The words of Mr. Lincoln at Gettysburg come to mind.)
But what of those immature and irresponsible (and now desperately evasive) people who made his Great Sacrifice necessary?
— Jim Stevenson
San Diego, California
Re: Don Bendell’s Abandoned Brothers:
Thanks for the article by Don Bendell. My father served in Vietnam as an Air Force pilot and is still officially MIA since 1966. It is nice that there is someone like Mr. Bendell to bring to light the true record of Senator Kerry. The reason this is so important to many Vets and families of Vets is that we do not want our loved ones’ service to be all for nothing! The fight in Vietnam was for Freedom, as is the current War on Terrorism.
Now, Kerry and others such as Senator Kennedy are trying to turn the Iraq conflict into “Bush’s Vietnam.” This is WRONG and borders on being treasonous when we have men and women with their lives on the line in the battlefield over there. Looking back at previous wars can be a good thing; After all, that’s how we learn. It is obvious, though, that Mr. Kerry has learned nothing, and is only disgracing all Veterans with his insensitive words. Thanks again for the article by Mr. Bendell. He speaks the feelings of many good Americans in our great Country!
— Stephanie Boston Danielson
Daughter of Colonel Leo Sidney Boston, USAF
TRUTH IN PACKAGING
Re: Paul M. Weyrich’s Flawed Condoms:
Where’s Dave Barry when you need him? Such is the parody potential of this “problem.” So I will only ask on question:
Is the labeling on the package or the product?
— John McGinnis
Re: RiShawn Biddle’s Two Cheers for the Ninth Circuit:
It’s worth noting that many of the liberal judges on the circuit strongly disagreed with the Silicon Graphics decision, and only just failed to obtain a rehearing en banc to overturn it. The dissent from denial of rehearing, written by (surprise) Reinhardt, begins:
REINHARDT, Circuit Judge, dissenting from the denial of rehearing en banc, with whom PREGERSON and TASHIMA, Circuit Judges, join, and with whom MICHAEL DALY HAWKINS and GRABER, Circuit Judges, join with respect to Part I:
By failing to take this case en banc, this court appears to endorse a decision of a divided panel that ignores the plain directives of Congress, casts aside the prior decisions of this court, and creates a striking conflict with our fellow circuits. Because I believe that we have a duty to correct an opinion that ignores the authority of
Congress’s words, the dictates of stare decisis, and the uniform conclusion of other circuit courts, I dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc.
NOT SO FAST
Re: Paul Milenkovic’s letter (“One Shining Moment”) in Reader Mail’s Among the Mountebanks:
Paul Milenkovic may remember Justice Thomas but he forgets Robert Bork. He is probably the most brilliant and astute judge to be nominated to the court in the last half century. Specter acted as lackey for NOW and other left-wing groups during Judge Bork’s hearings. “No Jeffords”? I vote: “Not Proven.”
A Pat Toomey Voter,
— JPK of PA
Re: David Hogberg’s Republican House Liberal:
Jim Leach is a Republican!? I swear to God, I thought he was a Democrat for probably the last ten years. Learn something new everyday.
Boone, North Carolina