Eight months after the September 11, 2001 attacks, NFL star Pat Tillman gave up a multi-million dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army. During his military career, Tillman displayed the same fortitude and passion as a soldier as he did as the former Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and NFL standout. But on April 22, 2004, he was tragically killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.
Although the U.S. government tried to cover up the circumstances of Pat’s death, his family, led by his mother Dannie, set out to reveal the truth, along with filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev. The Tillman Story is now playing in select theaters across the country.
Tillman is a fine example of an athlete who knew the value of making sacrifices for a greater cause. In addition to relinquishing millions to fight for his country, he also turned down a five-year, $9-million contract offer from the St. Louis Rams out of loyalty to the Cardinals. Dedication, loyalty and sacrifice are what this great athlete and soldier represented.