U.S. Army Ranger and Ex-NFL Player Pat Tillman Killed in Afghanistan
April 23 — Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who swapped a glamorous football career to enlist in the U.S. Army, has been killed in action in Afghanistan, ABCNEWS has learned. The 27-year-old former football player was killed in direct action during a firefight in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, Pentagon sources told ABCNEWS.
A former member of the Arizona Cardinals, Tillman, along with his brother Kevin, enrolled with the U.S. Army Rangers a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
According to a Pentagon source, Tillman was killed in action when his unit's patrol was attacked by small arms fire and mortars during a coordinated ambush in eastern Afghanistan.
One enemy combatant was killed, and Tillman was the only U.S. soldier killed during the ambush, said Pentagon sources. His brother, Kevin, a former minor league baseball player with the Cleveland Indians, is in the same platoon.
Last year, the brothers were awarded an Arthur Ashe Courage Award meant for individuals whose contributions transcend sports. The award was accepted by their younger brother, Richard, while the brothers were away.
Tillman, an unrestricted free agent, traded a $3.6 million, three-year contract with the Cardinals for military service.
This man is a hero. He gave up his privileged life as a pro-football player making millions to join our armed forces. You cannot argue that this man lived by his prinicples. He obviously felt it was more important for him to fight al-qaeda than tackle wideouts and running backs. He could have easily stayed in football and supported the troops in other ways, but instead chose to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect each and every one of us from danger.
Rest In Peace Pat Tillman. You are a hero and your memory will live on.........